Tag: Sixers sale

Joshua Harris

League makes official what we already knew: 76ers have been sold

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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.

Report: Deal reached in sale Philadelphia 76ers


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.

Report: Sale of Philadelphia 76ers still moving forward


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.

One factor in Iguodala rumors: Who owns the team?


Andrea Iguodala is being traded to the Clippers. Or the Warriors. Or the Magic. Or probably 26 other teams who have inquired about the services of one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.

There is an assumption that the Sixers are going to move Iggy. With that, any smart GM would at least call up and get a feel for what might be needed to make a deal work.

But the assumption that Philadelphia wants to move Iguodala may have one flaw — what if the new owner doesn’t want to?

We told you about reports that the Sixers may be sold from Flyers-loving Ed Snider to Joshua Harris, that talks are on going and things can happen soon. As Phil Sheridan said at the Philadelphia Inquirer, that raises a lot of questions.

Getting a new billionaire owner isn’t necessarily a magic solution to a sports franchise’s problems. Ask fans of the NFL team in Washington about that. We don’t know whether Joshua Harris is the next Daniel Snyder or James Dolan or whether he’d be another Mark Cuban or Arthur Blank. We don’t even know whether any of those examples would be the right sort to restore the Sixers to first-class citizenship….

One worry is that he’d see the team as merely another business to strip and flip, although there are NBA rules against downsizing the roster. Another worry is that the team would be just a toy, a vanity project for the 46-year-old Harris until he gets bored with it.

The best case, of course, is that he’s a competitive guy with a mean streak who will do whatever it takes to win a title. It looks as if we’ll find out.

The new owner and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will have a lot of say about if and where Iguodala is moved. Which is to say, don’t expect anything to happen fast.

Report: Philadelphia 76ers sale “imminent”


UPDATE 12:58 pm: Via CSN Philadelphia, Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko released a statement about the sale and situation:

“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.”

That confirms they are taking place and are serious enough that Comcast-Spectacor is not blowing off the report. These sales are detailed and tend to take time, so we’ll see how close they really are. Also, once a sale is completed it is not finalized until approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors (the other owners).

11:35 am: In a surprise turn of events, the Philadelphia 76ers may soon have new ownership.

That’s the report from Henry Abbott at ESPN.

Philadelphia 76ers owner Comcast- Spectacor is in talks to sell the team to a group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris, according to sources.

Negotiations are ongoing and a source with knowledge of the talks called a deal “imminent.”…

Harris, 46, co-founded Apollo Global Management, which invests primarily in distressed properties, in 1990. In Forbes’ 2011 billionaire rankings, Harris was reported to have a net worth of $1.5 billion. Other partners in the deal include private equity executive David Blitzer and former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien.

Levien is still an active agent for players such as Kevin Martin and Udonis Haslem among others, but he would have to shed those to take on this new role. One would expect with his experience he would handle a lot of day-to-day operations for the new ownership.

Ed Snider, now 78, has controlled the team through his holding company Spectacor for five years. Spectator merged with Comcast, which is why Comcast-Spectacor is listed as the owner of the team.

Snider is a hockey guy — he is a founder of the Philadelphia Flyers and is in the hockey Hall of Fame. He also owns the Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers and Flyers play. He is selling only the Sixers, who would be a tenant in the building.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes this means for the Sixers. They are a team that started to find its way back from mediocrity last season, taking a leap forward under coach Doug Collins (and with an actually healthy Elton Brand in the middle). They made the playoffs but lost in the first round to the Miami Heat.