Saturday, October 19, 2013

REPOST: Cleveland Browns Owner Haslam Selling Control Of Minor League Team

Jimmy Haslam, owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns is selling his shares of a pro sports franchise – but it’s not the Browns. Read more in this article.

James Haslam, the embattled owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, is raising cash. An ownership group led by the Haslam family plans to sell the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team, an affiliate of MLB’s Chicago Cubs, according to knoxnews.

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Wide receiver Jos...
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Haslam bought control of the team from Randy Lerner in October. He family’s truck stop company, Pilot Flying J , is being investigated by the FBI for defrauding customers. Three of the company’s employees have entered guilty pleas. And credit ratings for Pilot Flying J have been put on negative watch for possible downgrade by both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. Lawsuits can be expensive.

Haslam told knoxnews that the sale of the minor league baseball team is “…absolutely not” related to the legal woes facing Pilot. “It does have something to do with Cleveland in that we’re obviously going to be spending more time there. But I think the reality is the entire partnership group had owned the team for 12 years and felt like it was time for new ownership.”

Haslam has a net worth of $1.8 billion and Pilot, of which he owns about 21%, generates close to $30 billion in annual revenue. He clearly does not need the few million dollars he will net from the sale of the Smokies to live. But the additional liquidity could come in handy if he buys the remaining 30% of the Browns still owned by Randy Lerner within the next four years, as planned.

Jonathan Bunge is a huge fan of Cleveland Browns. More interesting stories about his favorite football team can be found  by visiting this blog site.