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Report: Deal reached in sale Philadelphia 76ers

Jul 13, 2011, 6:23 PM EDT

UPDATE JULY 13, 6:23 pm: Over at, Dei Lynam has confirmed that a deal has been reached. She also talks about the next steps in the process.

 Now the deal must be approved by the league’s board of governors. The NBA needs to approve the sale and they will be thorough in their investigation. It is difficult to say exactly how long that will take but according to Adam Silver, the NBA’s deputy commissioner, the process can be lengthy.

“It’s difficult to say how long the process would take before we see what the actual deal is but the process usually takes about two months,” he explained in an e-mail. “But it could be longer depending on how many background checks need to be conducted, the type of financing the buyers are using, etc. Approval does not have to be done in person but a group of owners would need to interview the buyers at some point before the board votes.”

July 12, 4:40 pm: We’ve been telling you it was coming for a while, not it looks like sale of the Philadelphia 76ers will come to pass in the next couple days.

So reports Ken Berger of CBS Sports (a report since confirmed by other sources).

Comcast-Spectacor has a deal in place to sell the Philadelphia 76ers to an investor group led by Joshua Harris of Apollo Global Management, LLC, has learned….

David Blitzer of The Blackstone Group will join Harris as lead partner, according to sources familiar with the deal. Former player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien also is part of the proposed ownership group, sources said. Apollo, which describes itself on its web site as specializing in “contrarian” investments and “distressed” assets, and Blackstone are not involved in the transaction.

While the price tag is not known for sure, Bloomberg suggested recently it would be about $280 million. Ed Snider has owned the Sixers, NHL’s Flyers (his real passion) and the Wells Fargo Center where they both play. This sale is for the Sixers only, not the building or any part of the Flyers.

Sixers fans should welcome the sale — Snider was a hockey guy who happened to own the NBA team. The new ownership group should bring a different level of passion to the table.

  1. tashkalucy - Jul 12, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    $280 million for a franchise in the #4 media market in the country, huh?

    You know Kurt, last week you had an article about the owners complaining about claiming to lose money yet talking about how much their franchises were worth, and what a killing they were making on them. One example was the New Orleans franchise that the league bought for $300 million.

    As any homeowner in America could have told you for 5 years now, how much a property is worth and what it can be sold for are often two different amounts. Sure, plum markets with media presence and a lot of money such as NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA, SF and others may bring big bucks because the market will support it. But if the NBA intends to continue to be more then a 12 team league then there are some major financial issues that need addressing – and not by kids on Internet blogs.

    Look at the NBA. Recent sales in New Jersey, Charlotte, NoCal, New Orleans and who am I missing. The league gave Shinn $300 million for the Hornets hoping to keep the price up for its franchises. So how does that square with a sale for almost 10% less for a team in a market that easily has at least double the potential revenue stream? Want to tell me the 76’ers were in debt and that’s the reason? You have a clue how badly in debt Shinn was?

    And the one I love is the “personal loan” that the NBA gave the owner of the Bucks, Sen. Herb Kohl. Word had already filtered out that Kohl wanted to sell the Bucks last Spring. But Stern obviously couldn’t find a buyer. So it appears Stern worked a deal with him to use the NBA’s line of credit to loan Kohl needs for his other businesses suffering in a bad economy, and in turn Kohl agreed not to put the team on the market at this point.

    Which leads us to the NBA “billionaire” owners that fans think are making money hand over fist and are just greedy. I believe that at least 1/3 of NBA owners would get out of their investment if they could get a solid offer for what the published value of their franchise is supposed to be — as most American homeowners would gladly sell their house if they could get the appraised value (like the NBA, not easy to do when there is a foreclosure down the street that may need a little work, but is selling for 60% of what you’re asking). Most of the owners are having major financial problems with the businesses that allowed them to purchase an NBA franchise in the first place. Now they’re looking at an investment where their star players want to go play with their friends in a large market, and they’re left holding the bag as their fans lose interest in the product and spend their decreased earnings elsewhere.

    Maybe the NBA needs to go back to being a 12-14 team league. But there is no way in the world that the league can support 30 ownership groups .And the fact is that even with players coming in from other countries there simply is not enough talent for 8-10 man rotations for all the teams the NBA wants to have.

    The NBA is a 3rd rate league. It should give it up, go to something like 12-14 teams and buy the smaller market owners out. National TV (ESPN/ABC) and the sponsors (Nike) are good with that. OK, so maybe Utah, Phoenix, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Portland, Sacramento and others would lose their teams. So what? If the fans in those areas like NBA basketball they’ll be able to view the games on TV and it will be a much higher level of competition. So people in Phoenix will have to take a trip to LA to see a game. So people in Portland will have to fly down to NoCal and people in Cleveland will have to fly to Chicago or New York. So what? Are they supposed to have teams that year after year can’t make it past the first two round of the playoffs at best? Teams that spend most their years rebuilding only to see the good players “do what is best for their families” and go play with other good players in glamour/star markets?

    America cannot support 30 NBA teams. I doubt it can support 20. There aren’t enough fans, quality players, or ownership groups around to do that.

    Starbucks has a great product. Arguably the best of its type in America. And Americans love it. But Starbucks over-expanded and couldn’t continue with all the stores. Starbucks closed a lot of their stores around the country 4-5 years ago. It happens. That’s business.

    • trbowman - Jul 13, 2011 at 6:55 PM


  2. SmackSaw - Jul 13, 2011 at 7:39 PM


    NJ, Toronto, Clippers, Suns, Kings, Bucks, Cavs Memphis, Hornets, Spurs, Bobcats, Magic, TWolves, OKC, Blazers and Jazz.

    The NBA will be better for it.

    • trbowman - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:20 PM


  3. ICDogg - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    The franchise comes with some “baggage” – a lease for the arena that is owned by the seller; a TV contract with a station that is owned by the seller. This no doubt affected the selling price.

  4. CJ - Jul 14, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Good. Now hire a new team president. IMHO there’s only two qualifications that are needed for the next 6ers team president to be successful: he must have prior experience as a team president, and his name must be Pat Croce.

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