Jeff Bezos ‘is in talks with Washington Football Team minority owners’ as they push Dan Snyder to sell the ‘$3.4billion’ NFL franchise
The Washington Football Team could be in the crosshairs of Jeff Bezos after the billionaire’s attorney reportedly contacted a sports investment firm that is known to be pushing embattled owner Daniel Snyder to sell his stake.
Court documents filed in India as part of Snyder’s defamation lawsuit against a media company in that country have revealed a connection between Bezos and the Baltimore-based firm, Moag & Co., according to FrontOfficeSports.com. Moag & Co. was previously hired by the Washington Football Team’s minority owners to find buyers for their shares.
Bezos, who recently announced his decision to step down as Amazon’s CEO later this year, has long been rumored to be interested in buying an NFL franchise, according to multiple reports. However, it’s unclear if he has any path to owning the Washington Football Team, even if he acquires the shares of minority owners Fred Smith, the FedEx CEO, Black Diamond Capital chairman Robert Rothman and NVR Inc. board chairman Dwight Schar.
Snyder has never publicly expressed an interest in unloading the club he bought in 1999 for $800 million. And without his willingness to sell, Smith, Rothman, and Schar’s shares are effectively an overpriced sports collectible: there’s theoretical value, but you can’t take it out of the box.
Buying a minority stake could only make Bezos a silent partner, which may not interest someone reportedly worth $192.6 billion.
Neither a spokesman for Snyder nor team spokespeople immediately responded to the DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Schar, Smith, and Rothman own 40 percent of the club that Forbes values at $3.4 billion.
Bezos’s reported interest in the team is the latest chapter in the internal war between Snyder and his minority partners, which began when he refused to pay them dividends as the pandemic slashed profits across the league.
Since then, the team dropped its nickname, the Redskins, amid pressure from Native American groups and faced hostile workplace accusations from female employees and team cheerleaders, who claim they were subjected to sexual harassment. Snyder privately settled on sexual harassment allegation, according to The New York Times and Washington Post, and the league is currently conducting an investigation of the team.
Amid the turmoil, the team’s minority owners continued to push for a sale.
Smith thought he found a buyer at least once in the last year, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Snyder was slow to approve the deal and the buyer eventually bought a stake in another team.
Rothman and Schar then decided to sell their shares with the help of investment bank Moag & Co.
Since then, Snyder accused Schar of extortion in a federal filing, obtained by Front Office Sports in December.
‘This is far from the only instance in which I have been extorted by Mr. Schar and others associated with him about this meritless allegation,’ Snyder reportedly rote in the filing. ‘For the past 5 months, there have been repeated threats by Mr. Schar and others associated with him.’
Snyder and his attorneys claim that Schar helped orchestrate a smear campaign with the India media company, MEA WorldWide.
In 2020, Snyder filed a lawsuit in India against MEA Worldwide, which he claims slandered him in several articles last month that allegedly tried to connect him with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Snyder and Epstein have no known links.
To aid in that lawsuit, Snyder filed a petition in Federal District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August of 2020 to compel a former team employee, Mary-Ellen Blair, to produce discovery evidence for use in the proceeding in India. Snyder is attempting to establish ‘Blair’s motive for seeking to defame’ him, according to the filing obtained by DailyMail.com.
Snyder has claimed in court documents both in the US and India that Blair is part of Schar’s larger scheme.