The battle between Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder and his minority partners may be coming to an end.
Snyder has agreed to buy out his three minority partners – Fred Smith, Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar – who originally bought into the team in 2003, according to multiple media reports, including The New York Times and The Athletic. Those minority owners hold a 40.5 percent interest in the team, so Snyder will own all the equity in the franchise once it's all said and done.
Full control is costing him a lot. According to The New York Times, Snyder will pay $875 million to acquire that 40.5 percent, and he'll have to take on $450 million in debt to complete the purchase.
The NFL is helping Snyder get it done. Snyder has to get approval from team owners to take on that much debt, and The Times reported that franchise owners are expected to grant him a special debt waiver next week, a move that has already been recommended by the NFL's finance committee. Snyder will have seven years to pay it back.
The sale, if it's approved, will end a messy and public battle between Snyder and his minority partners. Over the past year they've been attempting to sell their shares after Snyder declined to pay them dividends, and then Snyder implicated Schar in the creation of a smear campaign that was allegedly engineered to force Snyder to sell the team. The Times reported that the NFL had to hire former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to resolve the squabbling.
Possible resolution on sexual harassment investigation
The ownership infighting is just one of numerous issues Washington is dealing with, but there may be one more taken off of Snyder's plate. According to The Times, the independent investigation into the many sexual harassment claims against team employees and executives is coming to an end.
In the coming days, Commissioner Roger Goodell may address the findings collected by Beth Wilkinson, a Washington-based lawyer whom Snyder hired last summer to investigate after several Washington Post articles reported widespread sexual harassment of women who worked for the team over a 15-year span. The N.F.L. took over her investigation from Snyder.
It's been over a year of unceasing bad press for Snyder and Washington. With two major sources of that bad press expected to be resolved in the next week, it looks like the billionaire team owner will finally get some good news. Well, good for him, at least. The fans who want Snyder to sell the team will probably be less than thrilled.
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