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Debra Cafaro invested $25 million in the Pittsburgh Penguins. 0

Chicago CEO devoted to Pittsburgh, buys stake in Penguins

January 17th, 2017

When the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched an NFL playoff victory late Sunday, there was an audible cheer from Chicago. It was Debra Cafaro, the chairman and CEO of Ventas, an S&P 500 and healthcare real-estate investment company.

She’s a Pittsburgh native and a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cafaro invested a reported $25 million in the team controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle and hockey great Mario Lemieux and valued by Forbes at $570 million.  Cafaro joins “a small universe” of women with financial stakes in professional teams.

“I’ve always had a huge interest in sports. Almost everyone in Pittsburgh is like that. It’s a huge part of who we are and what we talk about,” Cafaro says during an interview in her River North office building.

Read more about Cafaro’s passion for sports–including the “immaculate reception”–in my column in the Chicago Sun-Times.

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