Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

End of an ownership era for Columbus Crew

The Hunt Sports Group has sold the Columbus Crew, an original Major League Soccer franchise, to Precourt Sports Ventures, a privately-held investment and management firm founded by Precourt Capital Management. Operating mainly in the energy production and distribution sector, Precourt Capital Management founded PSV in 2012 to diversify its interests by acquiring sports and entertainment business enterprises.

In a formal statement, PSV praised Hunt for its history of developing, promoting and advancing MLS and the sport of soccer generally in Ohio. The Hunt Sports Group now retains ownership of only one professional soccer team, FC Dallas, also one of the ten original franchises. The Hunt patriarch, who died in 2006, was an original investor in the league in 1996. The Hunt Sports Group has owned three MLS teams, the Crew, FC Dallas, and Sporting Kansas City, all original MLS teams.

Under the Hunt Sports Group, the Columbus Crew won an MLS Cup title, three MLS supporter shields for best regular season record and a US Open Cup tournament sponsored each season by the United States Soccer Federation. The Crew built Columbus Crew Stadium, the first MLS stadium dedicated to soccer. The Hunt Sports Group said in a public statement that, while pleased to welcome PSV to MLS, the transaction was bittersweet for them because of their love for and devotion to the Crew.

The complexity of the sale transfer may have made it a long time coming but for the legal talent at PSV's disposal. Business transactions and mergers are a complicated subject, particularly when it comes to a closely held family business. When matters become intricate, a commercial attorney may be able to provide aid and advice.

Source: WUSA, "Hunt family sells Columbus Crew", July 30, 2013

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