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August 2, 2012 - Mike McLain
BEREA -- The sale of the Browns to Tennessee billionaire Jimmy Haslam III was completed Thursday morning, NFL sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The deal is reportedly worth slightly more than $1 billion. Haslam will initially purchase a controlling interest with a $700 million investment. In the next phase he will gain complete ownership.
The news broke during the Thursday morning practice. It didn't come as a surprise since now former Browns owner Randy Lerner confirmed his plan to sell last week.
Coach Pat Shurmur remains dedicated to his focus on this season and trying to make the sale a non-issue in the locker room.
"I have no fear about any of that because I trust my coaches and I trust the players,” Shurmur said. “I’ve watched the work they’ve done. I think we’re moving full steam ahead. My concern is getting this team ready to play. The players understand that message, and they’re doing a good job.”
Haslam is CEO and president of Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of Travel Centers and Travel Plazas in North America. The company is located in Knoxville, Tenn.
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