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Pegulas hire sports-business slugger Steve Greenberg to oversee pursuit of Bills

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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.

  • Jan Reimers

    Best news yet regarding the sale of the Bills. Preliminary, but a great step.

    • Paul Muni

      I have mixed emotions about how Mr. Pegula earned his wealth but his life is truly a rags to riches story. I believe he wants to own the Bills for the same reason he bought the Sabres, only because he truly cares about this area.

      • rubagreta

        He made his fortune in fracking. That does not make him a criminal - yet.

        • My Opinion…

          What do you mean by "yet"? He made his money in fracking, while it was and still is (and still should be IMO, but that's another topic). How would he be a criminal for that at any point?

          • rubagreta

            I'm being sarcastic. But there are people who think that fracking is a criminal enterprise, done by companies who know they are destroying the earth but only care about profit.

  • MadAsHeckAndNotGonnaTakeIt

    I'm pulling for the Pegula's to be the next owner of the Buffalo Bills! Thanks for working so hard to ensure the team stays in Buffalo where it belongs. And, for putting your money where your mouth is. Although, you've proven over the last few years to be more than willing to spend for the benefit of Buffalo. The Pegula's are number 1 in my book.

  • Cannibal King

    I'm ready to re-name Buffalo to Pegulaville! Let's-Go-Ter-ry!

  • SteadyEddieTX

    Pegula's Bills, still like the ring of that. Good Luck Kim and Terry!!!

  • Jeff

    How about the Regis family? Lots of other criminal enterprises are run from prisons.

  • mariob195

    Sweet..

  • W.T. Beef

    The Toronto Sun reported that Rogers won't be making a bid due to lack of liquidity and that the Bon Jovi group is now saying it doesn't intend to relocate the team.
    http://www.torontosun.com/2014/06/30/exclusive-rogers-wont-lead-second-toronto-group-bidding-for-bills

    Looks like Pegula's going to end up owning the Bills unless he suddenly develops a frugal streak.

  • Marty

    I have read bizarre comments but what kind of data (or observations) produces the writer's statment that "billionaires generally aren't in their offices right up until a holiday weekend anyway". How about millionaires? Thousandaires? Us regular old Working Stiffs?

  • D Swain

    Unmm because it's true?

  • Dwight Billingsly

    billionaires are usually the only ones in their offices up to and through a holiday weekend. they get to be billionaires through hard work.

    • Otis

      Or from daddy.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.