Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Luukko confirms "discussions"

ESPN.com is reporting that Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the 76ers to a "group led by New York-based leverage buyout specialist Joshua Harris."

Luukko confirms "discussions"

Comcast-Spectacor president and COO, Peter Luukko has confirmed a ´discussion´ about the future of the 76ers. (Michael S. Wirtz/Inquirer)
Comcast-Spectacor president and COO, Peter Luukko has confirmed a 'discussion' about the future of the 76ers. (Michael S. Wirtz/Inquirer)

ESPN.com is reporting that Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the 76ers to a "group led by New York-based leverage buyout specialist Joshua Harris."

Sixers' president and COO Peter Luukko released the following statement about the news: "I can confirm that we are in discussions about the future of the team, but these discussions are confidential and we cannot talk about the details. At some point, we may have something more to say about these discussions, but we will not be making any comments at this point."

Messages were left for Comcast-Spectacor owner Ed Snider and Luukko. When reached, Sixers president Rod Thorn declined to comment.

According to ESPN, the negotiations are "ongoing" and a deal is "imminent." If the two parties -- that would be Comcast-Spectacor and the group led by Joshua Harris -- reach a deal, the sale would become official only with the approval of the NBA's Board of Governors.

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As ESPN pointed out, the Sixers were not known to have been for sale before today's news.

According to Forbes, Harris, 46, is worth $1.5 billion. He has ties to the University of Pennsylvania, having graduated from Wharton. And he received his MBA from Harvard. Harris made his money by investing in distressed properties. ESPN is listing other investors in the deal as private equity investor David Blitzer and former Sacramento Kings executive and NBA player agent Jason Levien. Blitzer also graduated from Wharton.

In ESPN's story, it says that Comcast-Spectacor would continue to operate the Wells Fargo Center and that the Sixers would become a tenant. 

You can find the full story in ESPN's updated online story, which is here: sale of 76ers.

Reports about Snider's attempts to sell the Sixers have surfaced in the past, including as recently as last summer, but ESPN's story is reporting that this particular deal has progressed to an "imminent" level.

Will update as soon as more information exists.

--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.

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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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