After deciding to review their options a little more than a year ago, Pittsburgh owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux have pulled their team off the market, Penguins CEO David Morehouse told Newsradio 1020 in Pittsburgh. Morehouse did acknowledge that the ownership group gave consideration to selling the team during that time:
“We did look at a bunch of different things; one of them included the outright sale of the franchise. We’re not looking at that right now.”
One possible option that remains under consideration, however, is adding minority partners.
There were rumblings back in January that a potential sale for a little over $700MM had been nixed by Burkle due to his belief that the duo could get more for the team. However, both owners issued a statement at the time denying that a firm asking price had been set or that a sale agreement had been reached.
Back when they were considering selling, it was believed that they were looking to sell while the team was at its peak value. Lemieux and Burkle purchased the team in September of 1999 for $107MM. Since then, they’ve won a Stanley Cup, secured a new naming rights deal for the arena, and will be receiving expansion money from the new Las Vegas franchise so as it turns out, the value today is likely higher than it was when they were considering selling.
Even had the team been sold, Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that Lemieux was still expected to retain a minority stake in the franchise, a team that he has been associated with for a big chunk of his life. On top of owning the team for the past 17 years, he spent his entire 17 season playing career with the Pens, ranking eighth in NHL history in scoring with 1,723 points.