Fenway Sports Group has reached a final agreement to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. The deal, first reported by Pierre LeBrun, is worth around $900 million. The agreement comes about a month after reports first surfaced that Fenway Sports had an interest in buying the Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Fenway Sports Group (FSG), a global sports, marketing, media, entertainment, and real estate company, today announced that FSG has entered into an agreement to acquire controlling interest in the Penguins.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 29, 2021
Fenway Sports Group Agrees to Purchase Pittsburgh Penguins
In a statement released by the team, Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will remain part of the ownership team. Lemieux and Burkle bought the Penguins in 1999, famously saving the team from bankruptcy. It is reported that Lemieux will continue to guide hockey operations, and the club’s senior management team will remain in place. This includes team CEO David Morehouse, as well as President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke and GM Ron Hextall.
“This is a new beginning, not the end of an era,” Lemieux said in a statement.
Lemieux and Burkle finalized the purchase of the Penguins in 1999, two years after Lemeiux’s initial retirement from hockey. The Penguins still owed Lemeiux more than $32 million in deferred payments upon his retirement. Lemieux converted most of that deferred money into equity in the Penguins and put together a new team of investors, which included Burkle.
What This Means for the Pittsburgh Penguins
“The way I look at it, I don’t think it changes anything we do from our standpoint,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said days before the sale became official. Sullivan will also be retaining his position as the club’s head coach. Sullivan will also serve as head coach of the US Men’s Olympic team in Beijing.
Fenway Sports Group owns the Boston Red Sox of the MLB, Liverpool F.C. of the English Premier League, Roush Fenway Racing of NASCAR, and of course the coveted Fenway Park. John Henry is the group’s principal owner and counts LeBron James as one of their partners.
The sale still needs the approval of the NHL Board of Governors. But it’s expected to be complete by the end of the year.