Purchase gives Brown family nearly all control of Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals president Mike Brown and his family have purchased the 30 percent of the franchise they currently do not own, a move that gives them virtually all shares of the organization, the team announced Friday.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in Friday's edition, via Forbes magazine, the Brown family would pay $200 million cash to the estate of Austin Knowlton for the shares. Knowlton, a co-founder of the team, died in 2003.

Knowlton's estate had perviously reached terms to sell its shares to investors in New York, but the Brown family exercised its right to match those terms.

"We are proud to be the owners of the NFL's Cincinnati franchise," said Brown, speaking on behalf of the Brown family in a statement released Friday. "We are committed to steps that will continue the Bengals as an asset for Greater Cincinnati."

The statement said the team's football operations will not be affected by the sale.

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