Reports have a Orlando City SC sale in the works, with the Wilf family–owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and a minority investor in Nashville SC–buying out majority owner Flávio Augusto da Silva.
The purchase would include the MLS squad, the NWSL’s Orlando Pride, Exploria Stadium and the Orlando City academy system, based in Kissimmee. The total purchase price would be in the $400-$450 million range.
As noted, the Wilfs are a family-controlled business led byby Zygi Wilf (currently Vikings president) and includes co-owner Mark Wilf (Zygi’s brother) and Vikings vice-chairman and co-owner Leonard Wilf (Zygi’s cousin). The Wilfs had sought an MLS expansion franchise in Minnesota that eventually was awarded to Minnesota United, led by lead investor Dr. William McGuire; the Wilfs had proposed the team play out of U.S. Bank Stadium, After that rejection, the Wilfs became minority investors in Nashville SC–an investment that would be divested if the Orlando purchase goes through.
There were some procedural issues to be addressed. Albert Friedberg, an Orlando City SC minority investor with first rights to acquire the team, will instead sell his stake in the team. MLS needs to sign off on the deal as well.
The sale is not a surprise: Augusto da Silva has been pursuing a Orlando City SC sale for a few years, saying he wanted to devote more time and money to philanthopy. He stands to make a nice return on his initial investment of $70 million for the MLS team and $155 million for Exploria Stadium.