Two Rooney brothers to sell all shares

But Art Jr., John to retain minority ownership in Steelers

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Two Rooney brothers will sell all their shares and two others plan to retain a portion of their stock and remain as minority owners of the Steelers when ownership of the franchise is reorganized under the control of Dan Rooney and his son, Art II, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned.

Tim and Pat Rooney plan to sell each of their 16 percent stake in the Steelers so they can remain involved in racetracks and casinos in Yonkers, N.Y., and West Palm Beach, Fla., family sources told the Post-Gazette. But John and Art Rooney Jr. each plan to keep a little less than half of their 16 percent stake.

But it's not just the Rooney brothers who are seeking to sell their shares to their oldest brother.

A small portion of the 20 percent share held by the McGinley family will be sold to Dan Rooney and his son or to the investors who are currently being assembled to help finance the sale. Rita McGinley will maintain her 10 percent stake in the team, said her nephew Jack McGinley Jr. The other 10 percent is spread among the six children of the late Jack McGinley.

The sides have agreed on a franchise value of $800 million, meaning a 16 percent share in the franchise would be worth $128 million.

Discussions on the sale continue as the two sides try to come to an agreement in order to get NFL approval before the end of the year. Dan Rooney and his son, Art, are trying to acquire 30 percent of the team to abide by NFL policy and have compiled a list of investors who, in essence, will become their new partners in the franchise.

Family sources told the Post-Gazette there will be at least three major investors and as many as five, with 10 to 15 total investors. The potential investors are currently being vetted by the NFL, and no names are being released because of a confidentiality agreement with the prospective investors.

"If this goes through," said Jack McGinley Jr., who plans to keep his own shares, "I can't speak for all my brothers and sister, but there's a strong likelihood a number will sell."

The Rooney brothers who are selling their shares will not receive all of their money immediately.

Instead, it will be spread over a number of years, between five and 10, family sources said.

Ed Bouchette can be reached at . Gerry Dulac can be reached at .


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