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Steelers add another investor

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By Scott Brown and Carl Prine
Monday, Dec. 21, 2009

The Steelers announced Monday that they're adding another minority owner of the fabled franchise, but they won't say who he or she is.

The closing on the deal is slated for today, but Steelers' officials declined to name how much of a stake the new owner is acquiring and from whom the purchase was made.

"We are preparing to close on a small transfer, including the addition of one new partner," said Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten in a prepared statement. "The new partner was approved at the League meetings last week in Dallas and is a follow-up to our large transaction in September, as we previously announced."

In a written statement, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that the new owner had been vetted by the NFL and fellow owners and that "(e)verthing has been approved."

Art Rooney II, the grandson of famed Steelers' founder Art Rooney Sr, will retain control of the team as the chairman and president of the franchise. He and his father, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Rooney, hold 30 percent of the shares.

In September, Dan Rooney's brothers Tim and Pat Rooney divested all of their holdings in the team. Brothers John and Art Rooney Jr also continued to hold small but significant stakes in the franchise along with members of the McGinley clan, their cousins.

Pat Rooney said that his seven children didn't sell any of their 2 percent stake in the franchise to the incoming investor.

"I've known that this was going to happen," Rooney said. "I think that it's the final closing which ties up loose ends from the summer."

The new investor joins a crowded bench that includes Tennessee truck stop titan James Haslam III, Hollywood producer Thomas Tull, Chicago investor Bruce Rauner, Hall of Fame wideout John Stallworth, hedge fund giant David Tepper, retired West Virginia coal exec Ben Statler, five members of the Paul family in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, and several more members of Jefferson County's Varischetti family.

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