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Broncos buy back minority stake in franchise

By: ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
March 21, 2018 Updated: March 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm
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Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame during halftime Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

ENGLEWOOD — The Denver Broncos are staying in the Bowlen family after the team announced an agreement to buy back a portion of John Bowlen's minority stake in the franchise.

The brother of majority owner Pat Bowlen announced his intention late last year to sell his non-voting interest in the team. His share of the team, which Forbes magazine values at $2.6 billion, is believed to be about 33 percent.

The Broncos didn't say how much of John Bowlen's share was bought back nor did they reveal the purchase price.

They said they're expecting approval of the transaction from the NFL "in the next few days."

"This transaction further consolidates Pat Bowlen's majority, controlling ownership interest in the Broncos while keeping 100 percent of the team in the Bowlen family. The acquisition of this share is independent of Mr. Bowlen's succession plan that is being administered by the Pat Bowlen Trust," the team said in a statement.

"John has been a great partner for many years, and we are very pleased he will remain a minority owner of the Denver Broncos."

Pat Bowlen and his siblings bought the team from Edgar Kaiser in 1984 for $78 million. Pat Bowlen later bought out his brother William Bowlen and sister Mary Elizabeth Jagger, making John the sole minority owner.

The team was placed in a trust when Pat Bowlen stepped down in 2014 because of Alzheimer's. The trust is overseen by three people, including team president and CEO Joe Ellis, who has final say on day-to-day operations until one of Bowlen's seven children can succeed him as controlling owner.

John Bowlen told the Denver Post last year that his intention to sell was not due to any discord with the club or the trust but was simply in his best interest financially.

Notes: The Broncos signed unrestricted free agent Clinton McDonald to a two-year contract Wednesday. The ninth-year defensive lineman has appeared in 97 career games and five playoff games with Tampa Bay (2014-17), Seattle (2011-13) and Cincinnati (2010). He had five sacks in 14 games with the Buccaneers last season.

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