NHL's Penguins Add PJT Partners as Adviser in Sale of Franchise

  • Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle bought the team in 1999
  • Penguins previously retained Morgan Stanley to advise on sale

The Pittsburgh Penguins, whose owners are exploring a sale of the National Hockey League team, retained Paul J. Taubman’s PJT Partners as an adviser. 

Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle last month retained Morgan Stanley to advise on a possible sale of the team they bought out of bankruptcy in 1999 for about $85 million.

The addition of PJT Partners was disclosed in what’s called a “teaser,” which is a summary of what’s available and sent to bankers whose clients might be interested. A copy of the teaser was obtained by Bloomberg News.
Among PJT Partners’ employees is Don Cornwell, the former Morgan Stanley banker who advised on the sale of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC’s acquisition last year of talent-management firm IMG Worldwide Inc. The merger-advisory firm was started in 2013 by former Morgan Stanley banker Paul Taubman, who is planning to merge with Blackstone Group LP advisory operations to form a publicly traded company.

Since Lemieux and Burkle bought the team, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009 and opened the $312 million CONSOL Energy Center in 2010. The team was eliminated in the first round of this year’s playoffs, losing to the New York Rangers in five games.

The Penguins have made the playoffs for nine straight seasons, the second-longest active streak in the NHL, and have sold out 377 straight games, dating back to February 2007.

Forbes magazine ranked the Penguins as the NHL’s 10th most-valuable franchise at $565 million in 2014.

Lemieux was drafted by the Penguins in 1984 and spent his entire playing career in Pittsburgh. He retired as a player in 1997 before returning to the ice as player-owner from 2000-06. He won two Stanley Cups as a player and one as an owner.

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