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Hall of Famer Stallworth among three new Steelers partners

PITTSBURGH -- SteelersHall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth was among three new partners added Monday to Pittsburgh chairman Dan Rooney's ownership group, one that may expand further before it is finalized in several months.

Career Statistics
Catches: 537

Yards: 8,723

TDs: 63

Rooney and son Art Rooney II, the Steelers' president, have added six partners to help them acquire all or part of the shares held by Dan Rooney's four brothers. The three new partners were approved by NFL owners.

The restructuring agreement was finalized several months before the Steelers won their record sixth Super Bowl last month and was required to meet NFL rules that a primary owner have at least a 30 percent stake in a team.

The Rooney family agreement originally called for the transaction to take place by March 31, but that deadline was pushed back until May because of the possible addition of other investors.

Stallworth, who starred on the Steelers' four Super Bowl championship teams during the 1970s, is the most visible of the new partners. He has been a successful businessman since his retirement following the 1987 season and is currently the president and CEO of family-based investment group Genesis II. Previously, he was involved in a successful technology company.

Also added to the Rooney group were Bruce V. Rauner, the chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner, a venture capital firm; and the Varischetti family of Brockway, Pa. The family is involved in numerous business, including a nursing-home chain and a commercial real-estate business, with a combined 2,000 employees.

Previously, James Haslam III, Thomas Tull and the Pittsburgh-based Paul family were added as partners to help the Rooneys maintain family ownership of the team. The Rooneys have owned the Steelers for all but a few months since their founding in 1933.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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