Terry and Kim Pegula have hired a powerful sports broker to handle their interest in the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo News has confirmed Steve Greenberg, managing director of elite investment bank Allen & Company, is representing the Pegulas as they investigate becoming NFL owners.
Greenberg's presence is the biggest sign yet of the Pegulas' attraction to the Bills. They already own the Buffalo Sabres.
The Pegulas have not declared publicly whether they will bid on the Bills. The team has been for sale since shortly after founder Ralph Wilson's death in March.
The Pegulas recently released a statement through the Sabres, stressing their "strong desire to have the Buffalo Bills remain a centerpiece" of Western New York, but the statement didn't reveal any intentions to buy.
The hiring of Greenberg shows the Pegulas are preparing as though they will make a bid -- even if they eventually decide not to.
Greenberg's decision to work with the Pegulas also is significant.
Top sports brokers get wooed by clients to represent them in these matters. Brokers must determine the most attractive option because they get paid a commission only if a sale is executed.
Greenberg almost certainly had other opportunities to work with prime candidates.
Greenberg's resume is astounding. He has brokered sales or purchases of the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets and San Diego Padres, Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards and, most recently, the Milwaukee Bucks.
He's the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, once served as deputy commissioner and COO of Major League Baseball, has been a director of the Topps card company and co-founded the Classic Sports Network.
The next important step in the Pegulas' exploration of the Bills is a review of the Bills' sales book, a confidential accounting of the team's detailed financial information.
Morgan Stanley, the investment bank representing the Bills, still has not released the sales book. Potential bidders expected to have the sales books before the July 4 weekend.
Two sources with knowledge of the process have informed The News the sales books might not be available until after the holiday weekend. Even if they were to be released today or Thursday, billionaires generally aren't in their offices right up until a holiday weekend anyway.
Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the status of the sales books. An NFL source told The News a draft of the sales book has been sent to the NFL and returned to Morgan Stanley within the past couple weeks.