Tom Gores, who grew up in Michigan and is the billionaire founder of an equity firm, has reached a deal to purchase the Detroit Pistons.
Gores has been in negotiations to buy the team for months, and now Bernie Smilovitz at the Detroit NBC news affiliate broke the story and the Pistons have confirmed the sale has been agreed to.
The terms of the deal are not yet known, but it also includes the The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre. The team had been owned by Karen Davidson, who took control when her husband Bill died in 2009 and she had been trying to sell the team since then.
“We are pleased to welcome Tom Gores as the new owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment,” Davidson said in a statement. “Just as my late husband, Bill Davidson, was the face of the Pistons, I am confident that Tom will bring the same energy, dedication and love to this organization.
“I look forward to seeing Tom follow in Bill’s footsteps, and carry on his legacy.”
Gores was born in Israel, was raised in Flint, went to Michigan State, used to sell computer equipment in Michigan. He eventually moved to California where he founded Platinum Equity, which is a power in the leveraged buyout business. At age 46, he is worth an estimated $2.4 billion.
The sale is something the Pistons have desperately needed. There is infighting between the coach and the players and a need for a real direction for the organization from the top down. Without that the team has not made trades and has been mired near the bottom of the standings.