Tim Graham of The Buffalo News reported on Wednesday that Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, have hired Steve Greenberg to represent them in their potential pursuit of Buffalo Bills ownership.
Greenberg is a highly recognizable name in the sports business landscape. A former deputy commissioner and COO of Major League Baseball, Greenberg is currently a managing director for Allen & Company, a privately held investment bank in New York City that has been involved in such matters as IPOs for Google and Twitter, as well as Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp.
Nine major league sports franchises have been sold when Greenberg was involved in the sale process (representing either the seller or the buyer): six in baseball (Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres) and three more in the NBA (Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Washington Wizards). He has also represented sports conferences and leagues in TV and media rights negotiations, and was involved in the startups of several TV networks, including SNY, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Big Ten Network, MLB Network, Classic Sports Network (sold to ESPN and popularly known as ESPN Classic), and CSTV (now known as CBS Sports Network).
All of that is to say that Greenberg is very good at the things he does, the most pertinent of those things in this instance is flipping pro sports franchises, and his alignment with the Pegulas is the most significant evidence yet that the Sabres' owner is serious about his pursuit of the Bills - and, perhaps, that Pegula is seen as an excellent candidate to eventually buy the team.
Graham's report also indicates that while investment bank Morgan Stanley, who is handling the valuation information in the sale of the franchise, had originally planned to distribute sales books to prospective owners by Friday's national holiday, those may not reach players until next week. Reviewing those books, Graham says, is the next step in the process of selling the team.