Steve Jobs’ widow has set her sights on sports.
Laurene Powell Jobs, a billionaire philanthropist, has agreed to become a part-owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, the company announced in a statement.
“We have an agreement with Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective, to join the Monumental Sports & Entertainment ownership group,” the company said in the statement, which was sent to Business Insider. “The process is underway and is pending league approvals.”
Assuming the deal goes through, Powell Jobs would gain the second-largest stake in Monumental after that of Ted Leonsis, the former AOL executive who founded the group to buy the Washington Capitals in 1999, according to the Washington Post. Powell Jobs could end up owning about 20% of the multi-billion dollar holding company, which also owns the Washington Mystics WNBA team, Washington DC’s Capitol One Arena, and a variety of other interests.
CNBC reports that Powell Jobs will pay $US500 million for her stake. It’s not clear whether she will be purchasing it from existing shareholders or whether she’s buying newly minted Monumental shares.
Powell Jobs’ $US20 billion fortune mainly comes from her husband’s stake in Apple and Disney, which he got from selling Pixar to the media giant. She’s vowed to donate much of her money to Emerson, a philanthropic organisation she founded that owns media companies and supports organisations working on education and immigration issues.
A representative for Emerson Collective declined to comment.
Although she’s based in the Bay Area, Powell Jobs does have some ties to Washington DC. Emerson recently purchased a controlling stake in The Atlantic, which is based in the district, and Powell Jobs used be romantically linked to Adrian Fenty, Washington’s former mayor.
Powell Jobs would be only the latest tech billionaire to take a stake in a professional sports team. Other sports-team investors hailing from the tech industry include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.
She would also join a small group of women sports team owners. Among her fellow female owners are Jeanie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers, Ann Walton Kroenke of the Denver Nuggets, and Julianna Hawn Holt of the San Antonio Spurs.
Here’s the complete statement from Monumental Sports and Entertainment:
“We have an agreement with Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective, to join the Monumental Sports & Entertainment ownership group. The process is underway and is pending league approvals. That someone of Laurene’s impressive calibre is interested in coming into the ownership group further validates that Monumental Sports & Entertainment is continuing to build one of the most consequential, most valuable sports and entertainment companies in the world. Through her work at Emerson Collective, Laurene has been a longtime leader in areas of education, immigration, social justice and the environment, and has demonstrated that she shares Ted Leonsis’s belief in a double bottom line philosophy: that the companies that do best are those that do good in their communities. The fact that these discussions are underway is itself a testament to the fact that Washington is one of the most dynamic and important regions in the country.”