Fenway Sports Group in advanced talks to purchase Pittsburgh Penguins

Fenway Sports Group is in advanced talks to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux have been the Penguins’ majority owners since 1999. The agreement needs to be approved by the Fenway Sports Group board, and then would be subject to NHL approval. The NHL’s Board of Governors must approve any potential sale.

Billionaire John Henry is the principal owner of Fenway Sports Group, whose portfolio includes the Boston Red Sox of MLB, Liverpool of the EPL, and Roush Fenway Racing of NASCAR. Fenway Sports Group also owns real estate, including Fenway Park. NBA star LeBron James has stake in the company.

The Penguins were on the verge of bankruptcy in 1999 when Lemieux, a franchise legend, and Burkle, an investor, led a group that bought the team for a reported $107 million. Lemieux and Burkle were instrumental in securing a new arena in Pittsburgh. According to sources, Lemieux is expected to retain a minority stake in the team if a sale goes through. Burkle and Lemieux have explored selling the Penguins previously, including in 2015, when they hired Morgan Stanley to help them look at options.

Like many teams in the NHL, the Penguins have struggled financially during the pandemic. The team accepted a $4.8 million Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020, and its 14-year sellout streak ended earlier this season.

Editorial credit: CiEll / Shutterstock.com

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