“Dan and Tanya Snyder and the Washington Commander announced today that they have engaged BofA Securities to consider a potential transaction,” the commanders said in their statement. “Snyders is committed to putting the best product on the field for the team, all of its employees and its countless fans, and continuing to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”
After buying out his minority partners in March 2021, Snyder and family members own the entire franchise. A group of investors led by Daniel Snyder purchased the team and its stadium from the Jack Kent Cooke estate in 1999 for $800 million. Forbes estimated Commanders’ worth at $5.6 billion in August. One person familiar with NFL ownership transactions said Daniel Snyder was recently interested in trying to sell a minority stake in the team, but it’s unclear if that’s his intention. Two other people familiar with the inner workings of the NFL said they had no idea what Snyder wanted to do.
“We are exploring all options,” a spokesman for the commanders said.
The number of buyers of minority stakes in any NFL team is small, given the rapidly increasing values of franchises. A 40 percent stake in Commander would cost $2.24 billion, based on a $5.6 billion valuation. Minority stakes are typically discounted by roughly 20 percent because they have no power in the team’s decision-making. Even at a 20-percent discount, $1.79 billion would be a steep price for buyers to pay for a minority stake in an asset they no longer control.
Also, any potential transaction would require the approval of three-quarters of the other team owners, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday. Such a vote would come at a time when Snyder is under intense scrutiny, under investigation by the NFL, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and DC and Virginia’s attorneys general. The last sale of a minority stake in an NFL franchise was in December 2020 among members of the family that owns the Tennessee Titans, before Snyder bought out his limited partners last year.
The NFL declined further comment on Wednesday about the prospective transaction. In March, NFL owners approved a resolution recognizing diversity in franchise ownership.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said in recent weeks He and fellow NFL team owners should give serious consideration to voting to remove Snyder From the right of commanders.
“I think we’re going to have more and more discussions about that,” Irsay told reporters at the owners’ meeting in New York last month. “It’s a difficult situation. I believe there is merit in removing him as its owner [Commanders]. I think this is something we need to reconsider. We must look at all the evidence, and we must be thorough in moving forward. But I think it’s something to seriously consider.
Irsay He expanded on his comments in a telephone interview on Friday: “I don’t know how that statement is going to come out. But what has already come out is very disturbing and I do not agree with the process. And I mostly disagree that we haven’t discussed something as drastic as him being fired as an owner. Like I said, I’m not saying we should. I’d say it’s something to seriously consider.
A vote of at least three-quarters of the owners would be required to remove Snyder from the franchise. Several owners expressed their hopes to The Post in September May be given serious consideration Trying to get Snyder out of the league’s franchise ranks, either by forcing him to sell his franchise or by voting to fire him.
“He needs to sell,” said one of those owners. “Some of us have to go to him and tell him he has to sell.”
It was not immediately clear Wednesday whether any owners had urged Snyder to sell.
“I think there will be a movement,” the same owner said in September. “We need to get 24 votes.”
The owner said the NFL and franchises “need it to happen just like the NBA,” referring to Robert Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million, after the investigation found he used racial epithets and treated female employees to a different standard than their male counterparts, violating the league’s policies. Server announced in September that it had begun the process of finding buyers for both franchises.
Attorney Mary Jo White is leading the NFL’s ongoing investigation.
“Mary Jo White continues her review,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “We have no update on the timeline.”
The league began investigating White after the team’s former cheerleader and marketing manager, Tiffany Johnston, told a congressional roundtable in February that Snyder molested her at a team party, put his hand on her thigh and pushed her toward his limo. Snyder denied the allegations, calling them “completely false.”
In June, The Post reported the details An employee claims Snyder sexually assaulted her During a flight in his private jet in April 2009. Later that year, the group agreed to pay the fired employee $1.6 million in a confidential settlement. In a 2020 court filing, Snyder The woman’s claims were called “unmerited”.
In April, a House committee detailed allegations of financial misconduct by Snyder and the group in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission. District Democratic Attorney General Carl A. Racine and Virginia’s Republican Attorney General Jason S. Miares announced an investigation. The group has denied any financial irregularities.
Racine’s office has nearly completed its investigation It plans to take further action in this caseA person familiar with the investigation said last month.
“Today’s news that Dan and Tanya Snyder are exploring the sale of the Washington Commanders is a positive development for the team, its former and current employees, and its many fans,” said attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees. said in a statement on Wednesday. “We’ll have to see how this plays out, but this could be a huge step toward healing and closure for the many brave women and men who have come forward.”
The NFL has not said when White’s investigation will conclude. Unlike the findings of an earlier investigation into the committee’s workplace conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, White’s report will be made public, the league said.
The House committee is expected to release its findings in the coming weeks. Daniel Snyder participated remotely in a sworn hearing with the committee for more than 10 hours in July. Former team president Bruce Allen testified remotely for about 10 hours under subpoena in September.
In March, Snyder bought out his three limited partners — Dwight Schar, Fred Smith and Robert Rothman, who together own 40 percent — for $875 million. That transaction required 31 of his co-owners An additional $450 million in debt must be granted to himHe has to repay the loan by 2028.
In November 2020, the Post reported that Snyder’s limited partners received a $900 million offer from Behdad Ekbali and Clearlake Capital’s billionaire co-founders, Jose Feliciano and Feliciano’s wife, Quanza Jones. Sales blocked, Snyder tried to exercise his right of first refusal to match the offers made to Smith and Rothman, but because the offer to Schar did not match, people familiar with the situation said at the time. This led to a dispute over whether Snyder was entitled to exercise such rights selectively.
Ekbali and Feliciano were reportedly in the running for the Denver Broncos, who were sold in June by the Pat Bowlen Trust to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for $4.65 billion. It is the most ever paid for an NFL franchise. Owners It approved Walton’s purchase in August.
The board’s announcement Wednesday that negotiations for public funding for a new arena for the Commanders have stalled. A state legislator who led efforts to draw the commanders to Virginia said in June that those efforts had stalled. State Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslau (D-Fairfax) said then: “There were a lot of things out there, a lot of people saying, ‘Saslau, this will have to wait.'”
Before Wednesday, the generals said Snyder would not sell the team. Following Irsay’s original public comments, a spokesman for the board said: “When he has the opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. We hope Irsay decides. They won’t.”
In July 2021, the NFL announced The team was fined $10 millionBased on Wilkinson’s investigation, and Tanya Snyder will oversee the franchise’s day-to-day operations for an unspecified period of time.