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Natural-Gas Billionaire Pegula Purchases NHL’s Buffalo Sabres

Feb. 1. (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Terry Pegula bought the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, the second major investment in the sport by the natural-gas magnate in four months.

Pegula purchased the team from former New York gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano and minority owners Larry Quinn and Dan DiPofi, the Sabres said in a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed by the team or the NHL.

Under league rules, the sale must be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors. Pegula would become the team’s fourth owner since 1970.

Pegula, a 1973 Penn State University graduate, is the founder and former president of natural-gas firm East Resources Inc., which was sold to Royal Dutch Shell Plc in May for $4.9 billion.

He emerged as a contender to buy the Sabres from Golisano in November when he signed a letter of intent to purchase the team for $150 million, the Hockey News reported at the time.

The initial offer came two months after Pegula donated $88 million to Penn State to help fund a new sports arena and women’s and men’s varsity hockey programs. According to Forbes magazine, Pegula has a net worth of about $3 billion.

A lifelong Sabres’ fan, Pegula previously lived in western New York. His son, Michael, grew up playing hockey in rinks around the Buffalo area, according to the Hockey News. His wife, Kim, is from Rochester, New York, and the couple lived in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park for a brief time, the Hockey News reported.

The Sabres joined the NHL for the 1970-71 season and have never won the league’s Stanley Cup title, losing in the finals in 1975 to the Philadelphia Flyers and 1999 to the Dallas Stars.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta mbuteau@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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