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Spanos no longer looking to sell 36 percent stake in Chargers

LOS ANGELES -- San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos is no longer looking to sell part of his stake in the NFL franchise, a team official said Friday.

The Spanos family terminated a deal with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in March to find a buyer for some or all of Spanos' 36 percent stake in the team, Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani said.

Reports that shares in the team were being shopped around last year set off speculation that the franchise, which has been struggling to have the 43-year-old Qualcomm Stadium replaced with a newer venue, could be sold to interests in Los Angeles, where two rival stadium plans have been proposed.

But Fabiani said the purpose of the sale had been to reduce the 87-year-old Spanos' estate tax liability upon his death. The tax rate was expected to soar with the anticipated expiration of the so-called Bush tax cut, he said.

The Spanos family decided to pull the team off the market after the tax cut was extended for two years in December as part of a deal between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans.

"The pressure to sell the minority stake, to take advantage of the tax cut, really was eliminated at the end of the year when the Bush tax cut was extended for two more years," Fabiani said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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