SBD/Issue 81/Franchises

Sources: Tom Gores Has 30 Days To Finalize Deal To Acquire Pistons

Gores' Deal With Karen Davidson Would
Include Pistons, Palace Of Auburn Hills

Platinum Equity Chair & CEO Tom Gores "appears close to winning the topsy-turvy bidding war" for the Pistons, according to Walsh & Ellis of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. Sources said that the deal could close as early as this week, though Gores "has 30 days to finalize the deal" with Pistons Owner Karen Davidson. The price "likely will be significantly below" the $479M value that Forbes magazine placed on the Pistons in '09, but it is "still a valuable franchise package ... because it includes two of the Detroit region's top concert venues, DTE Energy Music Theatre and the Palace of Auburn Hills." While "nothing is certain, it is possible that Gores and Davidson could move quickly to conclude a deal, because most of the due diligence number-crunching was done many months ago and there should be few surprises at this point." If completed during the negotiating window, it "could be on the April agenda" for NBA approval. It is "possible" that late Pistons Owner Bill Davidson's son Ethan "may retain a small ownership stake when the team is sold" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/8). In Detroit, Krupa & Goodwill reported Karen Davidson "attended practices on Thursday and Friday, which is unusual." She "appeared ebullient, but declined comment on the sale of her team" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/8).

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