Ted Leonsis has emerged as a potential suitor in the ongoing sales process involving the Nationals, according to a report from Barry Svrluga, Ben Strauss and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment is already a major factor in the D.C. sports scene, owning the NBA’s Wizards, the NHL’s Capitals and the WNBA’s Mystics.
According to the Post, Leonsis is one of a few potential buyers granted access to the Nationals financial data. He’s not making a run at sole ownership, however; Drew Hansen of the Washington Business Journal reports that David Rubenstein, a private equity businessman, is part of the group with Leonsis. It isn’t clear who else is involved with Leonsis and Rubenstein.
The Leonsis group becomes the third known potential suitors for the Nationals. Since the Lerner family announced in April they were exploring the possibility of a sale, the Post has reported that South Korean equity mogul Michael B. Kim and mortgage executive Stanley Middleman have each met with Nationals personnel. Whether Leonsis and Rubenstein have also formally met with Nationals executives yet isn’t known. The Post has reported that at least five potential bidders have met with the Lerners in recent weeks, so it’s not a given that any of the three publicly-known suitors will wind up submitting the winning bid.
The Lerner family has stopped short of making a firm declaration it’d pull the trigger on a sale, although it’s generally expected they’ll do so. The Post writes that the process could be finalized shortly after the conclusion of the season, with potential ratification of a sale taking place at the owners meetings in November. The Nationals are one of two franchises that could soon change hands, as Angels owner Arte Moreno announced yesterday he was looking into the possibility of selling the Anaheim organization as well.