BEREA, Ohio (AP) - A person with knowledge of the sale told The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner has reached a deal to sell the team to Tennessee truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam III.
Lerner will sell 70 percent of the Browns to Haslam now, with the other 30 percent reverting to him four years after the closing date, the person said on condition of anonymity because the sale has not officially been announced.
While the papers have been signed, the NFL must approve the sale. Approval from 24 of the 32 teams is required, and no date has been set for a vote because the sale has not been presented to the league yet.
Lerner, whose family has owned the franchise since it returned to the NFL in 1999, first announced he was in negotiations to sell the club last week.
Jimmy Haslam, who is the brother of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, has been a minority investor in the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2008.
ESPN said the sale price was more than $1 billion. For comparison, the Miami Dolphins sold at a value of more than $1 billion in 2009.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)