Suns Sale Closes Today:Sarver Becomes Main Owner

By Mike Tulumello
East Valley Tribune
June 30, 2004

On Tuesday, he signed the papers. Today, he’ll write the check.

"One big one," Robert Sarver said, with a laugh.

Sarver is incoming owner of the Suns, and today is the closing date for the $401 million sale of the club.

Sarver said he will own about 30 percent of the team. He has lined up a slate of investors that he said includes several local figures: Dale Jensen, a major investor in the Diamondbacks who is now increasing the size of his investment in the Suns; Steve Hilton, co-chief executive of The Meritage Corp.; Sam Garvin, CEO of Continental Promotion Group; Francis Najafi, CEO of The Pivotal Group; and Scott Seldin, whose father previously was a business partner of the Sarver family.

Other investors include Tom Rogers of Tucson, who heads R &R Products; Richard Heckmann of San Diego, CEO of K-2 Inc., a major sporting goods firm, plus two others from San Diego who wish to remain low-key, Sarver said.

Under terms of the deal, 65 percent of the price is set to be paid today, the rest in three years.

During those three years, a six-member management committee that includes Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo and Sarver will make decisions, with Colangelo having the right to break any ties.

The present day-to-day management of the club will remain the same for the next three years, Colangelo has said.

The $401 million sale price is an NBA record.

COPYRIGHT 2004, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.