One of the central figures of the short squeeze saga that pitted retail investors against hedge funds and short sellers could be adding “sports team owner” to his resume.
What Happened: Citadel CEO and founder Ken Griffin recently made the move to Miami. The move could play a factor in acquiring a minority stake in a National Football League (NFL) franchise.
According to Sportico, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is in talks to sell a minority stake in the team, as well as the Hard Rock Stadium and Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix — one of the annual U.S. races as part of the Formula One Group (NASDAQ:FWONA)(NASDAQ:FWONK) motorsports league.
Ross, who bought the team for $1.05 billion in 2009, is said to be selling a minority stake to bring in capital to invest in other sports ventures. Ross also owns the Miami Open Tennis event and soccer commercial rights agency Relevant Sports.
Ross is worth $8.64 billion, according to estimates from Bloomberg. The Dolphins were valued at $5.24 billion by Sportico, ranking 12th among NFL teams and 17th among U.S. sports franchises.
The Dolphins had estimated revenue of $600 million in 2022 and an operating profit of $128 million, according to Sportico.
Among the interested parties in acquiring the stake is Griffin, as first reported by radio station Fox Sports 640. The 55-year-old hedge fund manager recently moved to Miami and said the city could someday surpass New York as a major financial hub.
“We’ll see how big Wall Street South becomes,” Griffin said.
Why It’s Important: Griffin’s owning the Dolphins could be recognized as positive or negative depending on one’s perspective and fandom for the NFL franchise.
Griffin was among the hedge funders who bet against video game retailer GameStop Corporation (NYSE:GME). The Citadel CEO was portrayed by actor Nick Offerman in the big-screen movie “Dumb Money,” which recalled the short squeeze storyline. Griffin was said to be unhappy with the way he was portrayed in the film. Viewes regarded him as somewhat of a villain.
Bloomberg estimates Griffin’s wealth at $36 billion. The Citadel CEO was part of a group that tried to buy the English Premier League team Chelsea FC previously.
Sports team ownership continues to attract a wide range of former athletes and billionaires.
The NFL’s Commanders sold for $6 billion in 2023 and the league’s Denver Broncos sold for $4.65 billion in 2022. The Dolphins would likely be valued north of $5 billion based on the Sportico valuation.
Along with the Dolphins minority stake that could be on the table, Sportico shared that there is a 24% stake in the Los Angeles Chargers available. Minority stakes in the Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly coming up for sale soon. The NFL does not allow private equity investments in its teams.
Following the GameStop storyline, sports fans may recall that Gabe Plotkin, the founder of hedge fund Melvin Capital, was among the ownership group that acquired the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets majority stake from Michael Jordan. Melvin Capital previously shorted GameStop stock.
Ken Griffin… Image Via Flickr
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