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Browns Sale Valued At More Than $1 Billion
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The Cleveland Browns have a new owner.
Randy Lerner completed the sale to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III Thursday.
The planned sale that first came to light last week became reality Thursday as Browns owner Randy Lerner signed over to Haslam 70 percent ownership of the Browns. Haslam will acquire the remaining 30 percent in four years. The total price: more than a billion dollars.
The sale must still be approved by the other NFL team owners. Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter Terry Pluto says he expects that to go smoothly.
“You know, Haslam is a member of the club. And what I mean by that is heâ€™s already known to the other owners. The league vetted him when he bought into the Steelers back in 2008, even though itâ€™s a small piece. There wonâ€™t be any big hassles at all with the league approving him, because they know him.”
Lerner has never taken an avid interest in the Browns, and the team has been a poor performer since its rebirth in 1999. Haslam is expected to be a hands on owner dedicated to turning that around.
“I hope he is more enthused about investing in the Brownsâ€™ talent than the previous owner,” says Browns fan Randy Graham. “It just felt like Randy Lerner was not as involved or enthusiastic about the team as it seems like Jimmy Haslam will be.”