The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this morning that Pittsburgh Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burke made a offer to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates four months ago.
According to the report, “the meeting happened four months ago at the Penguins’ front-office headquarters in Chatham Center, Uptown. Mario Lemieux, and Ron Burkle and along with Pirates owner Bob Nutting were present, and the intent of the meeting was for the Penguins owners to offer to buy the Pirates.
In fact, it’s believed Burkle made a financial offer.
However, Pirates owner Bob Nutting continues to indicate that the team is not for sale, and according to the report, the Pirates are downplaying the meeting that took place months ago.
What is known is that Lemieux has no interest in selling the Penguins after trying to do so for much of the last decade.
Sources close to Lemieux have indicated he intends to be the Penguins owner for the long haul as the Penguins open a new arena in 2010 and appears to be trying to add another venture to his legacy.
Lemieux and Burkle getting involved with the Pirates would be a dream come true for the city. Ron Burkle’s estimated worth is $3.5 billion. What will it take to get Bob Nutting to sell? Likely an offer upwards of $350 million some believe, and it may take a $400 million+ offer. The Pirates are worth close to $290 million.
The likelyhood of Nutting selling in the near future is not strong. If Lemieux and Burkle are actually serious about buying the Pirates, they’re going to have to make a substantial offer that Nutting just can’t refused.