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ARISON FAMILY TAKES FULL CONTROL OF THE HEAT
Published January 30, 1995
In a deal that is promised to bring "sweeping changes" to the Heat, the Arison family Friday bought out managing partners Lewis Schaffel and Billy Cunningham for an estimated $60M. The deal still requires the approval of the NBA, which Micky Arison said he expects within two weeks. Upon approval, Micky Arison would become managing general partner. Although he "may not find the right person until after the season is over," Arison wants to hire a GM to run the team "as quickly as possible." Under the new deal, Micky's mother, Lin Arison, will hold 100% of Florida Basketball Association, "the general partnership that controls the team and has rights to 50 percent of its profits and losses." Also, she "will hold 88 percent of the limited partnership that has rights to the remaining 50 percent of profits and losses." Julio Iglesias, Raanan Katz, Robert Sturges and Amancio Suarez will remain as limited partners of the team, continuing to hold 12% of the limited partnership (Ted Reed, KNIGHT-RIDDER, 1/29). In Miami, Bob Rubin writes that the "air of uncertainty has hung over the franchise since Whit Hudson's failed bid to buy operating control has cleared" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/28). STAYING IN MIAMI? Contrary to Schaffel's belief that the team could not "survive economically" in Miami, Arison is "determined to keep the Heat in Miami, either playing in Miami Arena or nearby." Arison has not ruled out the possibility of working with Panthers owner Wayne Huizenga to build a new downtown arena (Bob Rubin, MIAMI HERALD, 1/28).