We told you over the weekend that the NBA’s other owners had approved the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers to New York billionaire Joshua Harris and investors.
Now the league has made official what everyone already knew, sending out an announcement of the sale Tuesday morning.
“We are delighted that the NBA’s Board of Governors has approved Josh Harris and David Blitzer’s purchase of the 76ers,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a released statement. “Comcast-Spectacor, led by Ed Snider, has been an exceptional owner for the Sixers, continuing the team’s rich history and tradition. Josh and David bring vast business experience that will greatly benefit the team as it continues to grow both on and off the court.”
“My partners and I are thrilled to have become owners of the Sixers,” Harris said in a statement released by the team Tuesday morning. “It is an honor to become part of this storied franchise. We have a lot of work to do, but we have a rich history, a strong foundation and a bright future.”
Congratulations Mr. Harris on the purchase of your team that cannot play basketball right now. That must feel special.
Sixers’ fans will welcome the new owners — former owner Snider (through his company Comcast-Spectacor) was seen as a hockey fan who happened to own a basketball team. It was good for the building he owned (the Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers will remain tenants) and the cable station, but it was not his passion.
Harris has Philly ties, he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
We’ll see what kind of owner Harris will be. He takes over a team that took some steps forward last season under Doug Collins and has some young talent, but also has questions about direction and how to build. And what to do with Andre Iguodala.
UPDATE JULY 13, 6:23 pm: Over at CSNPhilly.com, 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, CBSSports.com 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.
It’s not there yet, but it looks like the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers is getting closer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Comcast-Spectacor is still in serious discussions to sell the team to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris. Comcast-Spectacor owner Ed Snider is expected to sell 90 percent of the Sixers to Harris’ group for an estimated $280 million.
The deal, which has many obstacles because of the magnitude of the transaction, is creeping closer toward completion and is expected to be completed in the near future.
If that number seems low at first glance — after seeing teams sell for upwards of $400 million recently — it’s actually not. It’s more in line with reality. Forbes estimated the worth of the Sixers at $330 million. (Yes, there are issues with those estimates, but it’s the one we’ve got to work with.) At that value, 90 percent of the team would be worth $297 million. So, $280 million seems a fair price.
What will be interesting to see is what changes in franchise direction the new owners want to make, if any. The Sixers are taking steps back toward respectability under Doug Collins, but there is a long way to go.