Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez and former Walcom e-commerce boss Marc Lore have signed a letter of intent to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves from the National Basketball Association, a franchise spokeswoman said Saturday.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rodriguez and Lore will initially take a minority stake in the Timberwolves and its sister franchise in the Women’s National Basketball Federation, Lynx, a spokeswoman said.
The deal estimates Timberwolves and Lynx at $ 1.5 billion, and buyers could take majority control in about two and a half years, according to a person familiar with the issue.
The sale is the latest in a series of high-profile transactions involving major U.S. professional sports clubs, as estimates rose from millions to billions of dollars in recent years, far surpassing traditional investment benchmarks like the S&P 500.
Just for the last year, baseball The New York Mets sold the hedge fund to billionaire Steve Cohen for $ 2.45 billion, and the NBA’s Utah Jazz sold to Qualtrix founder Ryan Smith for more than $ 1.6 billion.
Among them was Rodriguez, best known for his 12 seasons as the New York Yankee stellar bidders for the Mets in a horrible auction process last summer, eventually losing to Cohen. Lore, a serial entrepreneur who left Walmart this year, founded Jet.com which sold to a retail company in 2016 for $ 3.3 billion.
In a joint statement, Rodriguez and Lore said they were looking forward to working with current Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and were “excited by the prospect of meeting the Timberwolves’ organization, the talented team and their incredible fans”.
Taylor bought the Timberwolves in 1994 for about $ 90 million, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He announced he researched a potential franchise sale last fall, hoping to keep the team in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves were almost moved to New Orleans before selling them to Taylor. The team never won a league championship, but made nine playoff appearances, the last time in 2018.
The Minnesota Lynx have won four championship championships, the last in 2017.