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Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

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  • Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

    Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights
    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    04.12.2010 6:46 pm

    Stan Kroenke, the Missouri native and collector of pro sports franchises, is trying to collect another. Kroenke has decided to exercise his matching rights and attempt to purchase the 60 percent share of the team currently owned by Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez

    Yes, the same 60 percent that Urbana, Ill., businessman Shahid Khan had entered into a sales agreement with Rosenbloom and Rodriquez.

    As part of Khan’s sales agreement with Rosenbloom and Rodriguez, Kroenke was given 60 days to declare his intentions with respect to his share of the team.

    Kroenke took it to the wire, taking the full 60 days before making his declaration Monday.

  • #2
    Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights


    So... what does that mean for his ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche? Is he selling or has the league decided to make an exception to the rule?


    • #3
      Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

      Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post

      So... what does that mean for his ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche? Is he selling or has the league decided to make an exception to the rule?
      Not sure. What are the Denver papers saying? Also, would unloading an NBA, NHL, and MLS team give him more cash to buy Arsenal than unloading his Rams stake?


      • #4
        Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

        Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post

        So... what does that mean for his ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche? Is he selling or has the league decided to make an exception to the rule?

        As I read it, Goodell was quite clear in saying the league would not make an exception for Kroenke concerning the cross ownership rule. Therefore, I believe he'd have no other choice but to sell majority interests if he were to win outright ownership of the Rams. What other option does he have?

        This is certainly an interesting twist that I did not expect, to be quite honest. Could this mean that Adam Schefter REALLY knew what he was saying when he suggested Khan's approval was "far from a slam dunk"? Or am I giving him way too much credit??!!


        • #5
          Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

          Seems like everyone is in the dark at this point.

          I see four possible explanations:

          1. Kroenke intends to sell the Nuggets and Avalanche;

          2. Kroenke has been privately told by the NFL that they will, in act, waive the cross-ownership rule for him;

          3. Kroenke is preparing to file a lawsuit to challenge the cross-ownership rule (likely under some unlawful restraint of trade theory); or

          4. Kroenke's true endgame is to sell his 40% to Khan, and this is an elaborate ploy to force Khan to purchase 100% of the team or to wait it out while Kroenke fights the cross-ownership rule.

          I really have no idea if one of these is the correct answer or not.

          I will say for the record, though, that I would much rather see Kroenke end up with the team than Khan. Deeper pocket, strong ties to St. Louis area, sports franchise ownership experience... what more could you want?


          • #6
            Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

            Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
            Could this mean that Adam Schefter REALLY knew what he was saying when he suggested Khan's approval was "far from a slam dunk"? Or am I giving him way too much credit??!!
            You're giving him WAY too much credit. Schefter stated that Khan wouldn't be approved. He never even implied that he anticipated Kroenke blocking the sale by exercising his right of first refusal.


            • #7
              Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

              Bernie just posted the press releases from both camps:


              "On February 10, 2010, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez granted me a great honor-- the opportunity to purchase the controlling interest in the St. Louis Rams that has been held by their family for 57 years. I entered into that agreement knowing that Mr. Kroenke could attempt to purchase that interest on the same terms. Earlier this evening, Stan advised me that he was going to pursue that opportunity.

              "I have had the chance to get to know Stan over the past 60 days. As I told Stan during our conversation earlier this evening, I enjoy his company, admire his success in sports and certainly respect his right to try to purchase the Rosenbloom family's interest in the Rams.

              "While the decision about ownership now rests in the hands of the NFL and its owners, my dedication to the league, the Rams, their fans and the St. Louis community is as strong as ever. Accordingly, I have advised Chip and Lucia that I intend to remain bound by our agreement and to conclude the purchase if the opportunity presents itself. In the meantime, I look forward to learning of Billy Devaney's pick on the evening of April 22."


              “We are pleased to announce that we have exercised our right to purchase the remaining interest in the St. Louis Rams football team under the terms of our Partnership Agreement.

              "We have enjoyed our involvement in the National Football League since our original expansion efforts beginning in 1993 and our subsequent 15-year partnership with the Rams.

              "We look forward to working with the Rosenbloom family and the NFL. We will respect the league and its processes in our efforts to complete this transaction."


              • #8
                Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                Oh boy, didn't see this one coming!

                I'd assume he is going to sell his Colorado based franchises now, but you never know, maybe he is ready to duke it out with the NFL.

                After all, Rams owners have never been ones to balk at conventional NFL wisdom; see Dan Reeves moving all the way out to LA, Carrol Rosenbloom trading franchises with Bob Irsay and signing the first African American player, and Georgia moving the team to St Louis against the NFL's wishes.


                • #9
                  Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                  i guess this was always a possibility..still find it suprising though,was convinced he would at the most stay pat with his 40%..

                  kinda feel sorry for Khan but may the best man for the Rams win...guess the Kroenke & Khan lovefest is over..

                  if Kroenke gets the team outright i suppose this would mean Billy D & Spags are more likely to have the time they need to complete the job they already started..with Khan theres always the uncertainty of which direction he could go in,but Stan no doubt had his say in their hirings in the first place and would know that despite the early results they are doing a a lot better jobs than an outsider might realise.

                  fair play Stan is a sly ol` fox for keeping quiet the last couple of years,biding his time to strike.


                  • #10
                    Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                    wow, did not think this was going to happen,I do agree Stan will make a great owner and this is good for St. Louis,but the part about him selling the Denver teams,will he have to have them sold before taking ownership of the Rams or will they give him time to do so and if not will this hold up the sale.


                    • #11
                      Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                      Yeah I am surprised about this one. Although I'd like to see Khan get a chance, Kroenke owning the Rams is a good thing.
                      Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


                      • #12
                        Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                        Personally, while i would LOVE to see kroenke buy the rams, i think Av's scenario number 4 is most likely. He loses nothing by exercising the right and the uncertainty that he puts into the process may give him negotiating leverage to raise the price he gets.

                        Keep the following in mind. Right of first refusal provisions in mergers and acquisitions or stockholders agreements often have "use it or lose it" clauses. Of course, i have not seen the rams shareholders agreement, but if there is a use it or lose it clause, kroenke could have made this decision to prevent from forfeiting the ability to have matching rights in future transactions (in addition to the aforementioned leverage point in negotiations).

                        Local money and participation was important to get the team to st louis in the first place. Its less critical now. Will the league fight this out in court with Kroenke? Is Kroenke prepared to go to war with the nfl? Those are obviously the two key questions at stake here.

                        I would have been surprised if kroenke simply let the deadline pass and do nothing. Time will tell what his real agenda is. Meanwhile, the Rams have more uncertainty and that is not a good thing for the team, as i remain quite sure that chip (who knows he is selling) is unlikely to lay out big money whenever he has much of a choice (ie he has to sign the number one overall pick, but he doesnt have to spend money on the free agent market in any meaningful way, or commit any up front money for a long term contract, ie a signing bonus for OJ)

                        ramming speed to all

                        general counsel


                        • #13
                          Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                          Wow! It's amazing what you can buy with Wal-Mart type money.
                          The more things change, the more they stay the same.


                          • #14
                            Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                            IMO Stan took this long to drum up support with other owners to help him bypass the cross ownership rule. Thats just my thought process. He is well liked and he has been sitting in on ownership meeting for quite some time, but Goodell rules with an iron fist so I think he would overwhelming support by the owners to get Goodell to budge. I just cant see Goodell allowing this to go through. If he lets one owner do it all others will want to to do it or would be able to do it and thats just not sensible.

                            Or he could be just going the easy route and he has found suitors for the avalanche and nuggets so he can focus on the Rams.

                            IMO 2 most realistic scenarios both are probably equally as hard to get through.


                            • #15
                              Re: Surprise! Kroenke decides to exercise his matching rights

                              Its hard to imagine Kroenke selling two franchises just to buy the Rams. He must really believe that the Rams will start pulling down some revenue or he must really love this team. I can't see the guy playing it false to drive up the price, not his style. This is epic news and this week leading up to the draft just keeps getting more and more interesting...


                              Related Topics


                              • MauiRam
                                Kroenke waiting for move on Rams
                                by MauiRam
                                Bernie Miklasz bjmiklasz 314-340-8192
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                One of the more compelling aspects of the Rams' sale is the role of Stan Kroenke in the proceedings. Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, team insiders and other NFL executives and owners are wondering: what is Kroenke going to do? Is he going to make a play for control of the team? And if so, when?

                                Don't expect Kroenke to lay his plan out for us. He's staying underground on the Rams' front and not returning media calls. He's not about to give away any clues on his Rams' strategy.

                                Kroenke, worth an estimated $3 billion, is a busy sports mogul. He owns 40 percent of the Rams. He owns the NBA Denver Nuggets, the NHL Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center in Denver. He owns the Major League Soccer franchise in Colorado and the stadium that houses the team. He is the majority shareholder (28.3 percent) of the prestigious Arsenal soccer club in the English Premier League. Kroenke owns a pro lacrosse team, an arena football team, and a Colorado-based cable-sports network.

                                And Kroenke's real-estate development company continues to prosper, making him one of the nation's wealthiest individuals according to Forbes magazine.
                                So does Kroenke want to buy the available 60 percent ownership block and challenge NFL rules that prohibit cross ownership? Or is he content to hang onto his 40 percent, oversee his other sports properties, concentrate on accumulating more Arsenal stock and avoid a skirmish with the NFL?

                                After speaking to a couple of Kroenke associates — sorry, no names — I think I have a general handle on his approach. But I can't be sure. Remember, this is the same Kroenke who made no noise about being interested in the Nuggets and the Avalanche, only to swoop in and buy them at the end of the process. Kroenke waited until the collapse of Bill Laurie's tentative deal for the teams, then made his move. And Laurie is Kroenke's brother-in-law, but Laurie knew nothing of Kroenke's intentions.

                                I believe Kroenke will sit and wait for others to make the first move.

                                It makes sense, because Kroenke has the right of first refusal on the Rams' sale. He can match any offer for the available 60 percent. By hanging back, Kroenke won't set the market and take the risk of bidding against himself to meet Rosenbloom's price. Instead, it's smarter for Kroenke to wait for another interested party to set the market, then react accordingly.

                                If another bidder makes an offer on the lower side, and the price is acceptable to Rosenbloom, then Kroenke can match the offer and get a relative bargain. He can save millions of dollars on the purchase. If Kroenke gets a great deal, then he may be more inclined to fight the league over that 60 percent.

                                And what if another bidder rushes in and pays whatever Rosenbloom-Rodriguez...
                                -06-14-2009, 11:26 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Bernie: A Look At Kroenke's Strategy
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                05.10.2010 11:00 am
                                Bernie Bytes: A Look at Kroenke’s Strategy
                                By Bernie Miklasz

                                The latest twist in Stan Kroenke’s pursuit of the Rams comes from Daniel Kaplan of The SportsBusiness Journal. Kaplan reports that Kroenke is attempting to get around the NFL’s cross-ownership rules by turning the team over to his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke. According to Kaplan, Kroenke pitched that proposal last week during a meeting with the NFL Finance Committee, which is overseeing the sales process. The SBJ reported that Kroenke’s proposal included other options, but no specifics were cited.

                                Kroenke owns 40 percent of the Rams and opted to match Shahid Khan’s bid to purchase the controlling 60 percent interest from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez. But because Kroenke owns the NBA Denver Nuggets and NHL Colorado Avalanche, teams that compete for Denver sports dollars with the NFL Broncos, he is prohibited from owning an NFL franchise in another market.

                                Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Kroenke would likely try to circumvent the rules by selling or transferring the Nuggets and Avs to his wife. And that option is still on the table for consideration, NFL sources say. But Kroenke seems to be exploring every possible angle in an attempt to satisfy the NFL. Kroenke’s apparent willingness to transfer or sell the Rams to his wife is just the latest scenario to be floated.

                                Let’s take a look. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

                                * Ann Kroenke certainly has the money to buy the Rams; she’s listed on the Forbes annual survey of the wealthiest Americans with an estimated worth of $3.2 billion. (Kroenke’s estimated worth is $2.7 billion.) But it isn’t so simple.

                                * The Rams’ ownership agreement stipulates that Stan Kroenke has the right of first refusal on the Rams’ sale. Not Ann Kroenke. Stan Kroenke had the right to match Khan’s bid. Not his wife. So on the surface, how could the NFL allow this?

                                * Or is the NFL willing to compromise by agreeing to let Kroenke match and take over as the 100 percent owner of the Rams as long as he agrees to quickly sell the team to his wife?

                                * Why didn’t Ann Kroenke simply bid for the Rams at the time the Rosenblooms had their 60 percent share on the market? This would have been easier than (A) having Stan Kroenke match Khan and (B) Kroenke having to work around the cross-ownership guidelines. (Likely answer: the Kroenkes didn’t want to get in a bidding battle with Khan that would drive the price up; they probably preferred to wait, let Khan make a reasonable bid, then match. I’m only guessing here.)

                                * Do any of these possible scenarios really satisfy the spirit of the NFL rule on cross ownership? Let’s say Kroenke sells the NHL and NBA teams to his wife, or transfers them to his son, Josh. Fine. But the Nuggets-Avalanche and Pepsi Center revenues would still...
                                -05-11-2010, 12:01 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Will Kroenke make a sweetheart deal?
                                by MauiRam
                                By Jim Thomas
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                Stan Kroenke's attempt to finesse the NFL cross-ownership rules may not involve a transfer of hockey and basketball teams in Denver to his family. But rather a sale — to his wife, Ann.

                                According to a couple of league sources that tactic could be Kroenke's best hope of getting the NFL to approve his attempt to purchase the 60 percent of the Rams currently up for sale by siblings Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez.

                                As wealthy as Kroenke is, he comes in second place at home. At $2.9 billion, he was ranked No. 342 on Forbes' most recent annual list of world billionaires. His wife, Ann, heiress to much of the Wal-Mart fortune, was ranked No. 297 at $3.2 billion.

                                So what happens if Ann Walton Kroenke "simply" writes a check for the Denver Nuggets NBA team and the Colorado Avalanche NHL team? How does the NFL react to that?

                                "Independent wealth means a lot," one league source said.

                                And that's what Ann Walton Kroenke has.

                                So at face value, that option might be more palatable to league owners than having Kroenke simply transfer ownership of the Nuggets or Avalanche to some combination of his wife, his son, Josh, or daughter, Whitney.

                                When asked if that would be an acceptable path, NFL senior vice president Greg Aiello replied: "I can't answer that question. It's not my question to answer. That's something that has to be decided by NFL ownership. And right now, they can't answer that because they don't know what he's proposing."

                                Even those close to Kroenke believe Kroenke has yet to decide on a precise path to finesse the cross-ownership rules.

                                But one avenue seems definitely closed: selling the Denver teams to an outsider. Whether it's sports properties or other business properties, Kroenke's history has been as a buyer and a keeper — not a seller of assets. And because he also owns the building the Nuggets and Avalanche play in — the Pepsi Center — it has proved to be a profitable setup.

                                If Kroenke sold the Nuggets and Avalanche to his wife, it appears he could maintain ownership of the Pepsi Center. There's nothing in the NFL's cross-ownership rules that would prevent him from keeping the venue. So that would make the purchase cheaper for his wife.

                                In 2000, just a few months after the St. Louis Rams defeated Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV, Kroenke purchased 93.5 percent of the Avalanche, Nuggets and Pepsi Center. The overall value of those assets at the time was $450 million.

                                It is a violation of the NFL's cross-ownership rules for Kroenke to own the Nuggets and Avalanche once he has controlling interest in the Rams. Kroenke already owns 40 percent of the Rams; he will own the full 100 percent of the team if he's successful in his bid to buy Rosenbloom's and Rodriguez's 60...
                                -04-18-2010, 12:20 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Kroenke plays it close to the vest ..
                                by MauiRam
                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                ORLANDO, FLA. — The day's business concluded, Stan Kroenke walked out of the NFL owners' meeting room Monday evening with Rams senior consultant John Shaw at his side.

                                About the last person Kroenke wanted to see in this venue was a reporter. He has always been what's best described as media shy — and that's particularly the case now that Urbana, Ill., businessman Shahid Khan has entered into an agreement to purchase controlling interest in the Rams.

                                So what will Stan do? Buy, sell or stand pat? Kroenke didn't tip his hand Monday, saying he continues to consider his options.

                                "We're all talking about our different approaches here, trying to come up with the best approach for everyone involved, I think," Kroenke said.

                                He also indicated that he will take the full 60 days, or very close to it, to decide what to do.

                                "I think that it's prudent to think through your options," Kroenke said. "These are big decisions. We're going to try to do the right thing."

                                Kroenke said he really couldn't say anything more until the process plays itself out.

                                Kroenke currently owns 40 percent of the Rams. He can decide to:

                                — Stand pat and maintain his 40 percent share of the Rams.

                                — "Cash out" and sell his 40 percent share.

                                — Exercise his right of first refusal, in essence matching Khan's offer for the team.

                                In reality, Kroenke probably has only two options: maintain his 40 percent share or sell it. Because in pretty strong language Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that the league wasn't inclined to bend its cross-ownership rules to allow Kroenke to match Khan's offer.

                                "Let's cross that bridge when we get to it," Goodell said. "But I don't think so. I think everyone understands we're going to respect our policies and make sure we treat everyone the same.

                                "We have great respect for Stan, and he has to make some choices. But he also understands the league wants to continue to have policies that we think are beneficial to the league in general and fair to all 32 clubs."

                                The cross-ownership rule prevents owning a controlling share in an NFL team in one market while owning majority interest in another major-league team (baseball, basketball, hockey) in a competing NFL city.

                                Kroenke owns the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association and the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League.

                                As part of Khan's Rams sale agreement Feb. 12, Kroenke has 60 days to declare his intentions with respect to Rams ownership. April 12 is three weeks away, so the time for making a decision is drawing near.

                                The "vetting" of Khan and the entire sales...
                                -03-23-2010, 09:50 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                Could Chip Rosenbloom annoint Kroenke as team president?
                                by MauiRam
                                If Shaw leaves, I suppose it is conceivable that Kroenke could selected by Chip to run the show even without being the outright owner. As CEO of the Rams he could clean house and hire a real GM. while in the meantime working behind the scenes to resolve the issue of cross-ownership. Crazy ?? Maybe not ,,,

                                KROENKE BOUGHT A PATH TO MAJORITY OWNERSHIP
                                Posted by Mike Florio on January 21, 2008, 12:49 p.m.
                                A league source tells us that Rams minority owner Stan Kroenke acquired when he purchased 40 percent of the team in 1995 the ability to become majority owner at some point after the death of Georgia Frontiere, who passed on January 18 at the age of 80.

                                Though the details are faded and sketchy, Kroenke is thought to have, at a minimum, the ability to buy 10 or more of the 60 percent held by Frontiere’s estate, if her heirs opt to sell the team.

                                It’s unknown what, if anything, has happened to Kroenke’s rights in this regard following his purchase of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Per league rules, Kroenke can’t be the majority owner of the Rams if he owns professional franchises in markets housing other NFL clubs.

                                It’s also unknown whether either of Frontiere’s children really want to run an NFL team. It’s possible that they each could sell a shade over five of the 30 points they’ll inherit from their mother, giving Kroenke enough of an interest to run the team.

                                If, of course, he’ll either sell his Denver teams or finagle an exception to the cross-ownership rule.

                                Don’t rule out the latter. Kroenke has real juice. And money. He married one of Sam Walton’s daughters, and he owns THF, a company that buys and develops the sites of many Wal-Mart stores.

                                Also, he has been a regular attendee at league meetings with Rams president John Shaw, so he might be able to put together the kind of coalition necessary to allow him to own the Rams, Avalanche, and Nuggets. Much of the outcome surely would hinge on Kroenke’s relationship with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who owns the NFL team in the market that already has been infiltrated by Kroenke.

                                -01-21-2008, 12:35 PM