Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

76ers sale deal is done

Comcast-Spectacor has finalized a deal to sell 76ers to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris. Both sides have agreed to terms and the deal is now in the hands of the NBA's Board of Governors, pending approval.

76ers sale deal is done

Joshua Harris graduated from Penn´s Wharton School of Business. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg)
Joshua Harris graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg)

Comcast-Spectacor has finalized a deal to sell 76ers to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris. Both sides have agreed to terms and the deal is now in the hands of the NBA's Board of Governors, pending approval.

Sources have put the value of the deal at approximately $280 million, possibly slightly more, for *100 percent of the team. Comcast-Spectacor and owner Ed Snider does not retain operational control, but owns the Wells Fargo Center and the cable rights through 2029. The deal does not include the Wells Fargo Center, which currently houses the Sixers and the NHL's Flyers.

The Sixers will become a long-term tenant of the Wells Fargo Center, which should ease worries that Harris has any intention of moving the team. According to Comcast-Spectacor's press release: "The team will remain a long-term tenant of the Wells Fargo Center and will have a long-term cable broadcast agreement for its games with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia."

Harris, 46, is worth approximately $1.5 billion. His investor group also includes David Blitzer of Blackstone and former NBA agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien. It’s unclear what role, if any, Levien will play within the Sixers’ front office, which is currently run by team president Rod Thorn.

More coverage
 
Meet the new Sixers owners
 
Sixerville: Harris wants to 'continue to grow the team'
 
Special section: Selling the Sixers
 
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Who will stay under the 76ers’ new ownership?
Ed Stefanski
Rod Thorn
Doug Collins
All of them
None of them

The new ownership group has already met with Thorn on multiple occasions over the last month.

This year, Forbes valued the Sixers at $330 million, the NBA’s 17th most expensive franchise. Comcast-Spectacor bought the Sixers in 1996 for $130 million. 

Harris is co-founder of Apollo Global Management, which specializes in leveraged buyout transactions.

Harris issued the following statement: “We are honored to have the opportunity to be affiliated with this storied franchise. As a basketball fan who attended college in Philadelphia, and with family roots here, I have always felt a strong connection to this City and the 76ers.  We look forward to helping the 76ers organization build on this past season’s accomplishments in the years ahead.  The ownership group also looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Comcast-Spectacor.”

Blitzer said the following: "We are excited to become associated with this iconic team and to have the chance to serve the great City of Philadelphia and its loyal basketball fans.” 

The press release named other investors in Harris' group, including Art Wrubel and Levien. It also specified that Harris, Blitzer and the other investors were making personal investments and this move was not associated with either Apollo or Blackstone. 

 

--Kate


Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click here to ask Kate a question or e-mail her at kfagan@phillynews.com.

About this blog

Keith Pompey is in his first season covering the Sixers for The Inquirer after covering the Temple men’s basketball team for the past three years and Temple football the past two seasons.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Narducci also has a true passion for South Jersey scholastic sports, which he has covered for many years.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
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