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Terry Pegula Reaches Agreement to Purchase NFL’s Buffalo Bills

Photographer: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is welcomed to the ice before a game in Buffalo, New York.

Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula reached an agreement to purchase the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills, the team said.

Pegula and his wife, Kim, paid a record $1.4 billion, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction. The person requested anonymity because the price wasn’t disclosed.

The Pegulas have said they will keep the franchise in Buffalo. Other bidders for the Bills included billionaire Donald Trump and a group that had rock musician Jon Bon Jovi as a member.

“I’m happy for all Bills fans,” said Mary Wilson, who became the team’s controlling owner after the death of her husband, Ralph, in March. “Ralph brought professional football to Buffalo in 1959 and it was his life’s passion. Ralph would have been pleased with the sale of the team to the Terry Pegula family, who has been so committed to Buffalo and the Western New York region.”

Ralph Wilson bought the franchise for $25,000.

The parties said they intend to submit the agreement for NFL owners approval at their Oct. 8 meeting in New York.

The highest price for an NFL franchise was $1.1 billion, which Stephen Ross paid for the Miami Dolphins and their stadium in 2009. The Bills sale was handled by Morgan Stanley. (MS)

Pegula in May 2010 sold his natural-gas firm, East Resources Inc., to Royal Dutch Shell Plc for $4.9 billion.