Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam officially bought the Cleveland Browns National Football League (NFL) team for $1 billion in a deal that and will be announced by the team owner at a press conference at 1 p.m. today in Berea, Ohio.
Haslam is paying $700 million for the team, and $300 million in installments, according to ESPN reports. The billion-dollar deal is expected to be finalized in October.
According to Columbus Business First, Haslam bought the team from Randy Lerner, who inherited the National Football League (NFL) team from his father, Al Lerner, in 2002. The team was originally bought into the Lerner family in 1998 for $530 million. Haslam is also a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which is the Cleveland Browns’ biggest rival. Haslam is expected to sell his interest in the Steelers team.
The Browns are listed as the 30th most valuable sports franchise in the world last month by Forbes.com. The team is valued at $977 million. Haslam said there is “zero” chance he will move the football team–a sensitive topic to Cleveland fans–and described the Browns as “one of the NFL’s iconic franchises.”
Pilot Flying J operates close to 600 c-stores, and is based in Knoxville, Tenn.