Laurene Powell Jobs buying stake in Wizards, Capitals: report

Billionaire philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs is offering to buy a significant stake in a sports group that owns two professional teams in Washington, D.C., her latest big purchase this year.

Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, spent hundreds of millions of dollars for a 20 percent stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, according to the Washington Post. Monumental Sports & Entertainment is a holding company composed of 19 members and owns the NBA’s Wizards, NHL’s Capitals and their shared venue.

With a 20 percent stake, Powell Jobs is the second largest shareholder in the group, pending NBA and NHL approval.

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Powell Jobs’ move on Tuesday is the second Washington-based investment made this year. In July, Powell Jobs’ philanthropic group Emerson Collective bought a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine.

Powell Jobs, who is particularly interested in improving education in the United States, may use her added sports portfolio as a vehicle to work on education in the nation’s capital.

“Laurene and Ted share the same commitment to a double bottom line, that the best companies are those that do good in their communities,“ a person familiar with the deal told the Washington Post. Ted Leonsis leads Monumental.

In September, Emerson Collective waded into political waters after President Donald Trump decided to end DACA, an Obama-era executive action that shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Emerson aired a 30-second ad starring former President Ronald Reagan in five swing and Republican states to urge lawmakers to protect those who benefitted from DACA, or “Dreamers.”

Also last month, Emerson Collective donated $10 million to a Daly City school to help create a prototype for an American “super school.”

Beyond education philanthropy, Powell Jobs — whose net worth is over $20 billion — may forge another path for female owners in professional sports. In the “Big 4” leagues, only a handful of women own franchises, from Jeannie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers, Gail Miller of the Utah Jazz and Martha Firestone Ford of the Detroit Lions.

But Powell Jobs is joining a long line of tech luminaries who have bought an NBA team. Five majority owners have a background in the tech world, from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer — who owns the Los Angeles Clippers to venture capitalist Joe Lacob who, with Peter Guber, owns the Golden State Warriors.

Photo: Laurene Powell Jobs participates in a panel discussion after the screening of “The Dream is Now” documentary directed by Academy Award-winning Davis Guggenheim at Stanford University’s Cubberley Auditorium in Stanford on  April 23, 2013. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)


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