SBD/June 18, 2012/Franchises

Prospective Grizzlies Buyer Robert Pera's Net Worth Called Into Question

Pera's net worth is said to have dropped with Ubiquiti Networks' share price
The NBA's vetting of Robert Pera “has just begun and his bid to buy the Grizzlies is not in serious trouble despite a published report" questioning his finances, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis COMMERICAL APPEAL. An NBA source said that, “speculation to the contrary is false.” The source said that the “viability of Pera's bid won't be determined by the league for at least another six to eight weeks.” The N.Y. Daily News yesterday reported that Pera has “already created great skepticism because of his finances.” The report cited league sources who claimed that Pera's “net worth is $200 million and not enough to complete the transaction unless he has ‘some wealthy partners’ in line to help.” But a source said that Pera “remains committed to join the NBA despite his company's loss in momentum.” Forbes once estimated that Pera’s net worth was $1.5B, but he is now “said to be worth more than $800 million in large part because of shares in his company, Ubiquiti Networks” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/18). In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS cited league sources as saying that the sale of the Grizzlies is “already in serious trouble” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/17). While his first report stated that when Ubiquiti Networks’ stock “bottomed out in the last two weeks," Pera's net worth dropped from $1B to $200M, Lawrence later amended his story to state that Pera’s net worth is “well over $800 million, counting 60 million shares of Ubiquiti Networks” (, 6/17).

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: In Memphis, David Williams wondered “what kind of owner” Pera will be, and noted the answer “may determine, more than anything else, whether the Grizzlies survive and thrive in Memphis for the long haul.” Williams also questioned NBA Commissioner David Stern's “confidence” in the sale going through. Williams: “By his comments, it seemed that Stern knew as little about Pera as the rest of us do. That is, ‘he has a few dollars, a few hundred million dollars, whatever the number is,’ and he likes to play hoops” (Memphis COMMERICAL APPEAL, 6/17). Also in Memphis, Geoff Calkins wrote Pera “should come visit” the city and tell Memphians “what he's all about.” Calkins: “What kind of guy is Pera? Does he plan to stay in Memphis for the long haul? Is he passionate about winning? How much will we see him around town? Will he be a hands-on owner, like Mike Heisley? What's his broad vision for the team?” Sports consultant and former Grizzlies President of Business Operations Andy Dolich said, "To me, he's missing an incredible opportunity. It's time to start the process of becoming a Memphian" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/17).
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