Feb 11, 2011, 9:41 AM EDT
Soon, the Detroit Pistons will have a new owner.
And with it maybe a direction for the franchise.
Billionaire financier Tom Gores has reached a deal to buy the team, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The total value of the deal, which includes the team, the Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre, is expected to be announced at $420 million. That doesn’t mean Gores will pay that much immediately, though. Current ownership is expected to retain a minority stake of perhaps 10% for up to several years.
Representatives for Gores and the Pistons declined immediate comment.
The sale has one more big hurdle to clear, the NBA Board of Governors (the other owners) needs to approve the purchase. Which they will. They will meet during All-Star weekend but it is not known if this sale will be discussed at that time.
Gores is the founder, chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a firm that buys distressed companies, turns them around. Platinum currently owns 30 companies in a wide range of industries. Forbes estimates he is worth $2.2 billion. He is a Michigan native who attended Michigan State.
The Pistons have been owned by Karen Davidson, who took control of the team when her husband Bill passed away in 2009. She has been trying to sell the team for more than a year.
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