NFL owners approve sale of Bills to Pegulas
NEW YORK (AP) — Admitting it was a dream come true, Terry Pegula and wife Kim were unanimously approved as new owners of the Buffalo Bills by NFL owners on Wednesday.
The Pegulas, who already own the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, expect the sale to be finalized by the end of the week.
“There’s a small matter of having to pay some money and we’ll get that done,” Terry Pegula said.
That payment would be for $1.4 billion.
Longtime Bills owner Ralph Wilson died in March, prompting the sale.
Buffalo sports fans were concerned the Bills could be moved out of state if purchased by another group. But the Pegulas are committed to the Buffalo area.
“If you asked me 10 years ago if I would own the Sabres and the Bills, I would have called you a liar,” Pegula said. “I just got a hell of a deal. I own the team.”
Kim Pegula is expected to have a high-ranking role with the Bills, working alongside current team president Russ Brandon.
Terry Pegula has a net worth valued of over $4.6 billion, and made his fortune in the natural gas industry. In 2010, he completed a deal to sell a large portion of his company East Resources’ assets for $4.7 billion to Royal Dutch Shell.
Pegula is from Carbondale, Pennsylvania, graduated from Penn State, and established his company in 1983 after receiving a $7,500 loan from his family and friends.
The Bills were last valued by Forbes at $935 million, but their price was well above other recent sales. The Cleveland Browns were sold for close to $1.05 billion two years ago, and the Miami Dolphins sold for an NFL-record $1.1 billion in 2009. Their deal also included their stadium.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently praised the Pegulas for their work with the Sabres.
“Terry and Kim Pegula have been terrific owners,” Bettman said. “They’ve invested in the community. They have devoted themselves, their energy, their resources, and haven’t held back at all. They’re all in. If you’re a fan of either the Sabres or the Bills, you’re going to feel good about that.”