Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group are to add a new sports team to their growing portfolio, by purchasing one of the NHL’s most historic franchises, Pittsburgh Penguins.
It would make the Reds one of a growing list of investments in the sporting sphere by FSG, with the club’s owners mixing business with the Boston Red Sox, NASCAR and now hockey.
It also arrives following investment by RedBird Capital Partners that was announced back in March, reported as a “significant investment” into the ownership group, not Liverpool itself.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a historic franchise in the NHL having won three Stanley Cups since 2009 and last season had the highest local ratings share of any team, they were recently valued at $845 million (£629m).
The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal, which has been in discussion for a number of months.
How FSG are prepared to pay for the team remains to be seen but various reports suggest the deal is one that is to see FSG, led by John Henry, obtain the controlling stake of the Penguins, with current owner Mario Lemieux to retain a minority stake.
The takeover has yet to be confirmed with the FSG board first to approve the deal on Thursday before the NHL then have the final say if it will go ahead.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy told the Sporticast podcast, via Sportico, in October: “We look at FSG very much as a platform for sports, entertainment, real estate, content, media, and the like.
“We are very interested in growing our company and acquiring new businesses in those lines of business. So teams, venues content, media, real estate is where we’re looking and we’ve got a lot going on right now.”
FSG and their entire entity was valued at $7.35 billion earlier this year and the news of their new acquisition will likely cause a stir among some fans as debates over Liverpool’s spending continues.
It is likely to change very little at Anfield, however, but the Penguins is a project that is in line with what was needed at Liverpool with a rebuild in the reckoning.