SBD/January 25, 2011/Franchises

Bidding Price For Pistons Around $350M, Below Davidson's Early Target

Tom Gores reportedly in the middle of an exclusive 30-day negotiating period for Pistons
The bidding price for the Pistons is "expected to range around the $350 million mark, below the previously estimated $400 million-plus price floated when the team began looking for buyers this past summer," according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources indicated that the "latest bids for the franchise" are in the mid-$300M range. Platinum Equity Chair & CEO Tom Gores reportedly is "in the middle of a 30-day exclusive negotiating period to buy" the Pistons from Karen Davidson. Lombardo notes a "drop in the team’s price points to a decline in the value of the franchise." If a sales agreement is "reached in the immediate future, Gores would likely meet with NBA owners at the All-Star Game and then owners would have to vote to approve the deal at a later date." A source said, "Davidson wants to sell but this is not like the sale of the New Orleans Hornets to the league." Citigroup is representing Davidson in the deal. Pistons officials would not comment on the sale (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/24 issue).

IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR? BLOOMBERG NEWS' Andy Fixmer cited a source as saying that The Gores Group Chair & CEO Alec Gores, the brother of Tom Gores, is "preparing a bid" for the Dodgers "in the event the current owners' divorce forces them to seek a buyer." The source indicated that Alec Gores, who made his fortune in leveraged buyouts, "may try to purchase" the team from Frank McCourt either with his brother or by joining an investment group. Details of a possible offer were not available (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/24). In L.A., Steve Dilbeck wrote the "great irony is that the financially troubled McCourt has made the Dodgers a profitable and desirable team to own." But the "problem for McCourt is he has leveraged the team so seriously that he hasn't been able to secure additional funding" (LATIMES.com, 1/24). Meanwhile, Bloomberg TV's Michele Steele reported real estate mogul Alan Casden "will also bid if the team goes on the auction block" (Bloomberg TV, 1/25).
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