Fenway Sports Group is reportedly in advanced talks to purchase the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Cara Lombardo and Laine Higgins.
Per Lombardo and Higgins, the terms being discussed have yet to be disclosed, but “a deal could be finalized later this week, assuming the talks don’t fall apart.”
Owned and operated by Red Sox principal owner John Henry since it was founded in 2021, Fenway Sports Group is the parent company of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, Liverpool Football Club, Fenway Sports Management, FSG Real Estate, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, and the New England Sports Network.
As noted by Lombardo and Higgins, RedBird Capital Partners — an investment firm launched by investor Gerry Cardinale and Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane — agreed to invest $750 million into Fenway Sports Group in exchange for an 11% ownership stake in the company earlier this year.
Around that same time, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James joined FSG as a partner, and The Boston Globe reported that Henry and Co. were looking to add other North American and European sports franchises to their portfolio.
It now appears that the Penguins are at least one of those franchises, as Lombardo and Higgins report that the team’s owners — namely Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and investor Ron Burkle — were interested in selling.
The Lemieux and Burkle-led group has owned the Penguins since 1999. They lifted the team out of bankruptcy upon purchasing and have seen them win three Stanley Cups since then.
That said, the Penguins were recently valued by Sportico at $845 million, which ranks 15th among the 32 NHL teams.
According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, “it’s unclear how much Fenway Sports Group is paying for the team or how many limited partners are staying on.”
In other words, more will likely be revealed as the sale nears its completion, so stay tuned for that.
(Picture of Linda Pizzuti Henry, John Henry, and Tom Werner: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)