The Green Bay Packers, the only publicly owned franchise in U.S. sports, are preparing for their fifth stock sale next week, according to a document published by the State of Utah Department of Commerce.
In an Oct. 13 letter to the state, Foley & Lardner LLP, a Madison, Wisconsin-based law firm representing the Packers, asked that the Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities waive its regulations and licensing requirements for the team to sell stock in Utah “on or around Nov. 15”. Shares in the National Football League franchise pay no dividends, don’t appreciate and can’t be sold, characteristics generally associated with registered securities.
The letter outlines three main differences between this year’s planned issuance and the 1997 sale. Each share will likely be sold for more than the $200 that was charged in 1997 - - “it may be $250,” according to the letter; entities may be allowed to purchase shares at a higher price than individuals; and shares will be available for purchase online.
I reached out to the Packers, who declined to comment.
Reached for comment, an NFL spokesman responded:
Teams were briefed about the plan mid-October at the Fall Meeting in Houston. No ownership vote was required. The commissioner determined that the stock sale meets the appropriate conditions established in 1997 for such a sale in order to raise funds for stadium renovation. The Packers have an atypical ownership structure that is “grandfathered.” In connection with the club’s last proposed stock sale in 1997, our office determined that the Packers are entitled to sell stock for certain purposes consistent with the “grandfather,” namely for capital raising purposes such as stadium improvements. The proceeds of the stock sale are required to be segregated from other funds and only used for that purpose. In this case, the Packers are planning to sell shares that were authorized, but not sold, in 1997.
It would seem shopping for Packers fans will be easy this holiday season.
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