LeBron James and his partners at Fenway Sports Group have announced the purchase of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the group has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in the NHL team. The sale will see the owners of Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox spend about $900 million.
The purchase adds another feather to LeBron James' ownership portfolio. The Lakers small forward already owns ownership stakes in the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. Joining the Fenway Sports Group made James and his business partner Maverick Carter the first Black partners of the company.
When asked to comment on it, James had said:
"I think for me and for my partner, Maverick, to be the first two Black men to be a part of that ownership group in the history of that franchise, I think it's pretty damn cool. It gives me and people that look like me hope and inspiration that they can be in a position like that as well, that it can be done. It gives my kids at my I Promise School more and more inspiration as well."
The purchase of a controlling stake in the Penguins by the FSG is pending approval from the NHL's Board of Governors. It is, however, projected to be sealed before the end of 2021.
The sale will not see any drastic changes occur in the Penguins front office, as owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burke are expected to continue in their capacity. Penguins general manager Ron Hextall and coach Mike Sullivan will also remain with the franchise.
The chairman of FSG, Tom Werner, released a statement to the effect of the purchase:
"The Pittsburgh Penguins are a premier National Hockey League franchise with a very strong organization, a terrific history and a vibrant, passionate fan base. We will work diligently to continue building on the remarkable Penguins' tradition of championships and exciting play. We are particularly excited to welcome Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle to FSG and have the utmost respect for all they have done to build the Penguins into the perennially successful franchise we know today. We look forward to working with Mario, Ron and the entire Penguins front office team."
LeBron James and what we know about his ownership portfolio
With his skills on the basketball court being unquestionable, LeBron James' acumen in business and investment is looking comparable. The 17-time All-Star, who has earned more than $1 billion on the court, has earned a lot off the court as well.
James owns a production company called SpringHill Entertainment and a media company called Uninterrupted. The production company was responsible for the production of the movie, "Space Jam: A New Legacy," a sequel to the original "Space Jam." The movie features LeBron James as the main character.
Among his list of investments is the Blaze Pizza, of which he is an investor and owns 19 franchises of the pizza company. There's also co-ownership of the health and wellness company Ladder with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lindsey Vonn and Cindy Crawford.
James co-owns RedBird Capital Partners, a private investment firm that purchased an ownership stake in Fenway Sports Group for $735 million, making them the third biggest partner in FSG. This translated to his 2% ownership stake in Liverpool FC and 1% in the Boston Red Sox.