Pittsburgh Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle confirmed in a joint statement Wednesday that they have hired wealth investment firm Morgan Stanley to explore strategic options pertaining to a potential sale of the franchise.
Lemieux and Burkle wrote in the statement, via the team's official website:
We conduct periodic reviews of our business and, because we have received several inquiries about the franchise in recent years, we decided to engage Morgan Stanley for their insight and counsel. After buying the team out of bankruptcy, ensuring its long-term future in Pittsburgh and creating a strong foundation for continued success, we believe it is time to explore our options.
TSN's Bob McKenzie, who was first to report the Penguins' hiring of the firm, suggested that Lemieux's interest to sell is stronger than that of Burkle's.
Morgan Stanley also oversaw Terry Pegula's purchase of the Buffalo Sabres.
Lemieux and Burkle stabilized and rebuilt the once-floundering franchise into a league pillar when they purchased the team out of bankruptcy in 1999.
McKenzie's colleague, Rick Westhead, opined that their asking price could be upwards of $550 million.