The Atlanta Hawks will be bought by businessman Antony Ressler. This Wednesday, sources confirmed that the deal will cost $ 850 million. The sources want to remain anonymous because nobody is supposed to speak about the sale until the deal is completed. According to the sources, the sale will be financed by assumption of debt and cash. The sale, which might be announced later on Wednesday, will include operating control of the Philips Arena.The coach, together with Hawks CEO, Mr. Steve Koonin will be in the long term plans of the future ownership group.
The sale process is believed to have begun in September, after the controlling owner, Mr. Bruce Levenson made his intention to sale his shares. This was due to a very big controversy that had engulfed the team. Mr. Levenson,together with other people purchased the Hawks,the rights to operate in the Philips Arena and the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers and for $250 million in the year 2004. However, Bruce later sold the Thrashers in 2011. The Thrashers later moved to Winnipeg.
During a press conference, the teams coach Mike Budenholzer told the audience that he was actually aware of the reports going round about the sale, but he chose to only remain focused on the game. The press conference was held before Game 2 of the Hawks first round series which was being played against Brooklyn Nets.
The Ressler’s group comprises of the former NBA player, Mr. Grant Hill and Jesse Itzler,who is the co-founder of the MarquisJet. Together with other investors, this team will be buying the Hawks. The group bid $1.2 billion, but they fell short of the $2 billion purchase price that was submitted by Steve Ballmer. 55-year-old Ressler, whose worth is actually estimated by Forbes as $1.4 billion, was part of the group led by Mark Attanasio that purchased Milwaukee brewers in the year 2005.
Forbes had previously valued the Hawks at $425 million last year, but after the sales of the Clippers and Bucks, the market changed. The NBA also landed lucrative television deals, which made the value of the franchises to go up.
In a statement to the press, Ressler told citizens that he was actually very honoured to be chosen to become one of the owners of the team. He said that he had a lot of respect for NBAs approval procedure. He was happy about the team’s success and wished them the best in future.
The price that the Hawks was bought reflects the strength of the team. This should show everyone just how much the market has become. Foley & Lardner sports lawyer Irwin Raij, said the sale price is a strong number for the market.