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Billionaire Jeff Skoll joins Monumental Sports as minority investor

Jeff Skoll (not pictured) will join chairman Ted Leonsis and vice chairman Sheila Johnson in the Monumental Sports & Entertainment ownership group. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
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The ownership group of the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics has a new minority investor in eBay billionaire Jeff Skoll, Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced Tuesday.

Skoll was eBay’s first full-time hire and first president, leading the online auction site through its initial public offering before leaving in 2001 to pursue a diverse array of projects. The 57-year-old is a celebrated philanthropist whose portfolio includes the Skoll Foundation, Capricorn Investment Group and Participant, which produced the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight” and documentaries such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Fast Food Nation.”

Financial details of the deal were not made available. According to Forbes, the new investment pushed the controlling enterprise value of Monumental Sports to $4.1 billion.

Skoll joining Monumental Sports comes at a busy time for Ted Leonsis, the chairman and principal owner.

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Leonsis is heading a group that is a leading candidate to purchase the Washington Nationals from the Lerner family, which announced its intention to sell the baseball team this spring.

Owning the Nationals would expand Leonsis’s already wide footprint in Washington; Monumental Sports acquired full ownership of NBC Sports Washington in September and holds the exclusive local TV media rights to Capitals and Wizards games.

Leonsis tweeted the announcement of Skoll’s investment Tuesday afternoon, calling the billionaire a “longtime friend.”

Leonsis purchased the Capitals from owner Abe Pollin in 1999 and became the majority owner of the Wizards and Mystics in 2010. Forbes values the Wizards at $2.5 billion and the Capitals at $1.2 billion.