Report: Brown family to buy remaining stake in Bengals
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Forbes.com is reporting that the Brown family is about to purchase the remaining 30 percent stake in the Bengals for $200 million.
The remaining stake comes from the Knowlton estate. Austin Knowlton, a founder of the team, died in 2003.
FOX19 spoke with Bengals fans Thursday who had mixed reactions to the news.
"I don't think he's done that great a job with the Bengals so the thought of that... I would like to have someone else have a little more control," Sheri Dougherty said. "That will impact almost everyday decisions with the team as far as everything they're going to do and I think that could be a little scary."
"That doesn't surprise me. Mike is about Mike," Jack Morgenroth said. "He had control of the team anyway. He had the final say in whatever went on."
Other fans defended Brown.
"I think Mike Brown's a smart guy," Doug Merriman said. "I think they're on a good path. They're young and they're coming on and I think there's more good things to come."
According to Forbes, minority stakes of this size typically sell at 15 percent discounts because limited partners have little to say about how the team is run. Assuming that discount, and the team's $100 million of debt, the deal gives the Bengals an enterprise value of around $870 million. Forbes recently valued the team at $875 million, 25th in the NFL.
The Brown family is paying cash for the stake and the deal is expected to be finalized next week, according to Forbes.
Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan sent the following to FOX19 in response to a request for comment:
"The club will have something to say if timing is appropriate… right now anything would be premature."