Magic Johnson

Latest On Broncos Ownership Bid Process

With today’s deadline for second-round bids on the Broncos having come and gone, there are are few interesting developments regarding the ongoing sales process. Given what has already been reported on the subject, neither come as much of a surprise. 

With the four remaining groups having placed their bids this afternoon, the prospective owner seen as the favorite to ultimately take over the team is the same as it has been presumed for some time now. Troy Renck of Denver7 reports that Walmart heir Rob Walton “remains the clear frontrunner” to win the bidding process (video link). He adds that Walton’s bid “could be upwards of $4.5B”. Walton has been seen as the likeliest candidate for months, and that figure would fall in line with the expected value of the team.

Walton – who, Renck also notes would become the NFL’s all-time wealthiest owner should he be successful – is competing against three other bidders. Those groups are led by 76ers and Devils owner Josh Harris, whose party also includes Magic Johnson, the trio of soon-to-be Chelsea owners which would be led by Jose Feliciano, and brothers Mat and Justin Ishbia. Up until this second round of bidding, media mogul Byron Allen was still in the running, but only the four finalists participated today. The process could very well be complete by the end of the month.

Regardless of who becomes the next owner, they could recruit a familiar face as part of the beginning of their tenure overseeing the franchise. Mike Klis of 9News reports that all four of the finalists have spoken to Peyton Manning “to gauge his interest” in becoming a minority owner or advisor to the team. The Hall of Fame QB has previously made it clear doing so is a distinct possibility, though that was before the identities of the prospective buyers were known. Klis adds that there is “no word” on what Manning is currently planning with respect to any potential role in the new ownership group.

With another key checkpoint being reached in the sales process, the exact terms of the pending deal – and the particulars of who will be involved in the new regime – will remain worth watching for in the coming days and weeks.

Second-Round Broncos Bids Expected In Coming Days

The process of finding a new owner of the Broncos is approaching a crucial next step. 9News’ Mike Klis reports (on Twitter) that second-round bids for the franchise are due by Monday.

That places a firm deadline on the bidding process, which was expected to reach this stage in the near future. As Klis notes, four groups are expected to place a bid, with the lone exception amongst prospects previously reported as showing interest being the one led by media mogul Byron Allen. He was still considered to be in the running earlier this month, but the list of finalists would seem to no longer include his name.

That leaves the group led by Rob Walton at the top of said list; the Walmart heir has a personal value of more than $70MM, and has consistently been labelled as the frontrunner to win the bidding process. Among his competitors is the pairing of 76ers owner Josh Harris and Magic Johnson, the group involving Todd Boehly (which is in the process of purchasing English Premier League club Chelsea) and, the most recent addition to the mix, brothers Mat and Justin Ishbia.

In a follow-up, Klis details that if the group including Boehly were to be successful, he would be a “limited partner”. Instead, Jose Feliciano would be the lead owner, something which would satisfy the league’s desire for minority ownership in this process. While Klis further tweets that the trio involving Boehly, Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali would constitute surprise winners in the bidding process at this point, they remain in contention to make a second major purchase in a matter of weeks.

With the next round of bids – long expected to approach the $5B mark, which would comfortably set a new North American sports record – set to be made in the coming days, Klis reports that the sales process could be completed by late June or early July (Twitter link). That would stay in line with the overarching thought that a new owner would be in place in time for the 2022 campaign, and bring an end to one of the league’s top off-the-field storylines.

Byron Allen Still A Candidate For Broncos’ Ownership

The field is narrowing for candidates to purchase the Broncos. Among the semifinalists is the group headed by Byron Allen, per Mike Klis of 9News.

The media mogul was one of the first prospective buyers to be named as an interested party back in February. He confirmed that the NFL had approached him years earlier about the possibility of buying a franchise when the opportunity arose. Doing so successfully would make the 60-year-old the first Black owner in the league.

Klis notes that Allen is set to become the third candidate to visit the Broncos’ facility. While his personal value is dwarfed by other potential buyers, he is “backed by a handful of investors with deep pockets”, per Klis. On that point, he adds that is is presently “unclear” whether or not Allen himself would assume the duties of controlling owner in the event of his group submitting the winning bid for the team.

While Klis further states that “the number of ownership groups under consideration is fluid”, it is still believed that former Walmart chairman Rob Walton remains the favorite to win the bidding process. The other candidate which has met in-person with team executives is Josh Harris; the New Jersey Devils owner Philadelphia 76ers managing partner recently made headlines when it was announced that NBA icon Magic Johnson is joining his ownership group.

It has been known since April that the winning bid will be valued at a minimum of $4B, so Allen’s inclusion on the shortlist of potential buyers demonstrates the wherewithal of his group. With the general belief still being held that the sales process will be completed in time for the start of the 2022 season, the competition amongst the various parties to submit the highest bid (and the role the likes of John Elway and Peyton Manning could play whenever said process is complete) will be worth watching in the coming weeks.

Magic Johnson Joins Ownership Group Bidding To Buy Broncos

The Broncos have narrowed their prospective owner list to five, according to Mike Klis of 9News, who adds the first of those groups — the one fronted by New Jersey Devils owner and Philadelphia 76ers managing partner Josh Harris — met with Broncos executives and bank and transaction lawyers Thursday.

Harris’ group is believed to now have a big name attached. Magic Johnson has joined the group, according to Sportico (on Twitter). This is interesting considering Johnson partners with another of the Broncos’ ownership candidates — Todd Boehly — in a consortium that owns the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The NBA icon and former Lakers president of basketball operations has a 2.3% stake in the Dodgers, making a $50MM investment. The Broncos are expected to be sold for more than $4.5 billion, which will shatter an American sports record. The NFL has sought minority representation in the next Broncos ownership group, though Harris’ contingent is not believed to be the favorites. Walmart chairman Rob Walton is believed to be the frontrunner, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes his group and Boehly’s will visit soon (Twitter link). This process remains on track to be resolved before the season, RapSheet adds.

John Elway and Peyton Manning have been mentioned as interested parties, but Klis adds neither are expected to join a group until the bidding is settled. Elway remains interested in an advisory role with the eventual owner. The former Broncos GM currently serves as a consultant to successor George Paton.

A second round of bids has not yet taken place, per Klis. The highest bid must be accepted, with the winner then needing to be approved by three quarters of NFL owners. The last NFL sale ended with David Tepper‘s Panthers acquisition being approved by a 32-0 margin. Harris, 57, is well known in NFL circles, having bought the 5% stake in the Steelers that Tepper sold upon buying the Panthers.