The Pittsburgh Steelers are a $2500 family venture, capitalized in 1933, now valued at close to one billion dollars. That is quite a family asset.
You may be surprised to hear that the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL franchise is for sale in the name of Asset Protection. The Rooney family has owned the Pittsburgh Steelers for 76 years. That is a good long-standing business now valued at around a billion dollars. Why are the Rooneys selling and why is it for Asset Protection.
Team chairman Dan Rooney, the oldest son of late team founder Art Rooney, wants to remain in the football business, but some of his four brothers want to get out of the NFL to focus their business interests on their racetracks and other ventures. Dan Rooney, and his son, Steelers president Art Rooney II, are working out a financing plan to buy Dan’s brothers’ shares in the team, according to the statement.
The other Rooney brothers – Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John – each have an ownership interest in the Steelers. Another related family, the McGinleys, also owns a minority interest in the team. The Steelers already have minority ownership interests held by the McGinley family, according to the team’s statement. The Rooney family owns 80 percent of the team, with the McGinley family holding 20 percent, the Journal said.
It is not exactly that the Steelers are for outright sale; at least this is not the first choice. It is more like the Rooneys are attempting a “shifting” of the assets among family members. The Rooneys other valuable assets that might enable the potential for the family to stay under the radar for taxation of major capital gains and the NFL’s requirements to conform with the anti gambling policies. The Rooney family owns racetracks in New York and Florida that have recently added video gambling games that are inconsistent with NFL policy. Some of Rooney’s four brothers — Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John — plan to focus on the tracks and other businesses, and Dan and Art Rooney II are arranging financing to buy their shares, according to the statement.
Last year Goldman, Sachs & Co. valued the Steelers at $800 million to $1.2 billion. Why are the Rooneys in such a hurry to sell? They do have to comply with the NFL’s anti gambling policies. It has been reported in the Wall Street Journal that although they will do everything possible to keep the team in the family, they will seek all options for the best deal. If Barack Obama is elected, he will impose a 12% to 17% capital gains tax and in the event of a sale instead of a swap between the families, it is going to take a big chunk of money from the profits.