M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rams and the Right of First Refusal

First, my apologies for recent paucity of posts. I've come down with a common seasonal affliction - exams, grading, and then graduation.  It's an odd time of year when all my normal routines go out the window and I find myself buried under piles of exams.  I'm almost better.  I should be back to normal by Monday next week. 

In the meantime, I'm fascinated by the ongoing intrigue over at the St. Louis Rams.  When we last checked in, the Rosenblooms had negotiated to sell their stake to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.   Rams' minority owner, Stan Kroenke, then exercised his right of first refusal to purchase the 60% of the Rams owned by the Rosenberg family.  Kroenke's attempt to exercise his right of first refusal has run into an obstacle - the NFL's cross ownership rules, which prevent cross-ownership across professional sports of sporting teams outside the owners home markets or in other markets with NFL franchises.  Apparently, Kroenke has been trying to creatively figure out a way to have his cake and eat it too.  According to St.Louistoday.com Kroenke may by attempting to substitute his wife, Anne, for himself in his bid for the Rams in order to avoid having to sell his positions in his basketball and hockey teams.  That might work by Kroenke simply assigning his right to match to a group headed by his wife, or by making a bid himself and then immediately turning around and then selling his position to his wife's group.   It's hard to imagine that the Rams limited partnership agreement would permit the transfer of a right of first refusal, but we'll see. 

The NFL owners are meeting today in Dallas and will discuss the Rams sale among other issues.



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