Report: Memphis Grizzlies controlling owner to buy out two partners
From NBA media reports
Robert Pera has sent a formal notice to the NBA office that he plans to buy out two minority partners and remain controlling owner of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies announced Monday night that Pera both alerted the league office and shared his decision in a letter to season-ticket holders in which he also confirmed his commitment to Memphis.
The two partners triggered a “buy-sell” clause from 2012 when Pera, the founder of Ubiquiti Networks, bought the team with a handful of minority owners. The clause required Pera to either buy out the shareholders or sell Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus his portion of the Grizzlies.
The Commercial Appeal shared a copy of Pera’s email to season-ticket holders where he shared his commitment to Memphis and the Grizzlies.
“I am committed to Memphis as an NBA market and as the home of the Grizzlies,” Pera wrote. “We recognize that this has been a trying season for you as fans. That serves to reinforce our dedication to building a successful NBA franchise.”
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the team is valued at between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion:
Robert Pera’s deal to retain control of the Memphis Grizzlies under the terms of an unusual buy-sell clause values the team between $1.3 and $1.4 billion, a big price tag for a small-market team that has been among the league’s largest revenue-sharing recipients, sources familiar with the process told ESPN.
To buy the Grizzlies in 2012, Pera teamed with two large minority partners — Steve Kaplan and Daniel E. Straus, who owned in the neighborhood of 30 percent of the Grizzlies combined, sources told ESPN.
The terms of their agreement included the buy-sell clause, which both Kaplan and Straus triggered in the fall.
The clause gave both minority partners the right to buy the team out from Pera by naming a price for his shares — and by extension, the value of the full team.
Once triggered, the three groups negotiated for 60 days to try and strike a deal before Kaplan and Straus submitted binding bids, sources have told ESPN. That window ended without a deal.
The Grizzlies have snapped a seven-year playoff run and are 22-59, a mark better than only the Phoenix Suns (20-61). They conclude the season Wednesday night at Oklahoma City (8 ET, NBA League Pass).
Pera fired coach David Fizdale in November, but the rarely seen controlling owner has invested heavily in the franchise on and off the court. The Grizzlies renovated the locker rooms this past offseason and has added personnel in recent years. Memphis also re-signed Marc Gasol and Mike Conley at very pricey contracts while adding Chandler Parsons as an expensive free agent.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.