Pac-12 Reportedly Considering Taking on Private Equity Investors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2018

ADVANCE FOR SATURDAY, OCT. 1 - In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo,  a PAC-12 logo is seen painted on the field before an NCAA college football game between Washington State and Oregon in Eugene, Ore. Larry Scott helped transform and modernize the Pac-12 when he took over as commissioner, helped the conference land a $3 billion TV deal and create its own network. Eight years later, the conference is reaping financial rewards and he believes it is well-positioned to adapt to the changing landscape of both college sports and media rights. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang, File)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

The Pac-12 is reportedly considering selling equity in the conference to private investors in order to keep pace with the other Power Five conferences.

According to John Canzano of The Oregonian on Saturday, Pac-12 officials discussed the possibility at a meeting in November and then addressed it again during a December conference call.

The plan, which is being referred to as Pac-12 NewCo, would sell a 10 percent stake in the conference to investors in exchange for $500 million.

Canzano obtained a six-page document detailing the plan and the fact that the Pac-12 is lagging behind the SEC and Big Ten.

The Pac-12 paid $11 million less to each of its members than the SEC in the last fiscal year, while the Big Ten will top the Pac-12 by $15 million per member thanks to its new media rights deal.

In the document, it was estimated that the Pac-12 could be worth between $5 billion and $8.5 billion if it moves forward with Pac-12 NewCo.

The Pac-12 has struggled to achieve top-level success in major sports recently, as it hasn't had a team reach the College Football Playoff since the 2016 season and has put a team in the Final Four of the NCAA men's basketball tournament just once since 2009.

With a $500 million cash infusion, the Pac-12 may be better positioned to compete with the likes of the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC moving forward.

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