Thirty-eight years after an unknown Canadian attorney named Pat Bowlen bought a majority interest of the Broncos from Edgar Kaiser for more than $70 million, the next owner of the team could pay upward of $4 billion for the region’s most popular professional sports franchise.
The final barrier to the sale process beginning for the Broncos was cleared Tuesday in Denver’s Second District Court when a judge ruled that ROFR Holdings, created by Kaiser in 2005, did not have a valid right-of-first-refusal claim to buy the franchise.
Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis said he will announce transition-of-ownership plans after the team has hired a new head coach.
Following is a look at the upcoming process:
Question: How many owners have the Broncos had in their history?
Answer: Essentially, four. Bob Howsam founded the team in 1960 and sold it a year later to Gerald Phipps and Cal Kunz for less than $1 million. Phipps was the Broncos’ majority owner from 1961-80 until he sold his shares to Kaiser in February 1981 for $29 million.
In March 1984, Kaiser sold his share to Bowlen and his siblings for $78 million. Bowlen later bought back the shares held by his brother, Bill, and sister, Mary. Pat’s brother, John, sold his non-voting shares to the Broncos in March 2018.
Q: What are the Broncos valued at?
A: Last August, Forbes magazine valued the Broncos at $3.75 billion, 10th in the NFL and 25th among all professional sports franchises.
Q: Why are the Broncos likely to be put up for sale?
A: It’s complicated. When Bowlen resigned his post because of Alzheimer’s, his 77% share of the team was placed in a trust supervised by president/CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka and local attorney Mary Kelly.
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The trustees were tasked with selecting the next controlling owner — one of his seven children or an outside party.
In 2018, Beth Bowlen Wallace, the second of Pat’s two children with Sally Parker, expressed her desire to succeed her father. That request was quickly denied by the trustees. Months later, Brittany Bowlen, one of Pat’s five children with his widow, Annabel, said she wanted to succeed her father. Brittany eventually joined …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports
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