One of the owners of the Tennessee Titans has reached agreement to sell her one-third stake in the National Football League team to members of her family, ending a three-year process that put the franchise at odds with the league, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Susie Adams Smith, a daughter of Bud Adams, who founded the team as the Houston Oilers in 1960, is selling her stake in the club’s parent company, KSA Industries, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the matter is private.
The agreement requires NFL approval. KSA includes various businesses outside of sports, including real estate as well as oil and gas.
NFL owners have a regularly scheduled meeting this week.
KSA was represented by PJT Partners, which declined to comment. The Titans didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the agreement.
If the sale goes through, Amy Adams Strunk, Smith’s sister and already the team’s controlling owner, will assume a 50% stake in the team, up from her one-third position, the person said. Other family members will control the other 50%, according to the person.
The somewhat unusual ownership structure put the team out of compliance with the NFL’s rules.
Bud Adams left three equal shares of the club to his descendants when he died in 2013. The NFL prefers there to be a clear managing partner that can make decisions.
With the Titans, any major change required a 75% supermajority vote. Under the existing structure, even a one-third stakeholder could block any proposed initiative, giving that person outsized say in team governance.
There was some buyer interest from outside the family.
Chris Shumway, managing partner of Shumway Capital, was in talks to acquire Adams Smith’s stake but couldn’t reach an agreement on an eventual path to control of the team, the person said.
It isn’t known how much the family is paying for Adams Smith’s one-third stake or at what valuation.
Sportico in August valued the Titans at $2.23 billion, 28th in the 32-team league.
The Titans are 8-4 this season, tied with Indianapolis atop the AFC South.
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