SBD/June 26, 2012/Franchises

Grizzlies Potential Buyer's Financials Could Be The "One Snag" In The Sale

Prospective Grizzlies buyer Robert Pera is rich, "just not super-rich" and that might be the "one snag in the rags-to-basketball glory tale that might jar Memphians some day,” according to Evanoff & Veazey of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Professional sports franchises “are the province of the very wealthy," and Pera is “not one of them -- the very wealthy -- at least not yet.” His wealth “still hinges on the value of Ubiquiti shares of stock,” the company he founded and owns, and the price of that stock “has reeled.” If he buys the Grizzlies, and Ubiquiti's “stock gyrations continue, it's unclear how that would affect his ability to fund the team's operations.” Pera is “a bit of a mystery.” For three days last week in San Jose, the Commercial Appeal “sought out more than a dozen people believed to know Pera,” and “most declined repeated requests for interviews.” A source said that Pera “values his privacy” in his personal life. Evanoff & Veazey noted his “unique and efficient business style continues to draw attention.” Phoenix-based Triad Wireless CEO Rory Conaway, who is a customer of Ubiquiti, said of Pera, "He probably needs to spend five hours a week in there. He comes in, checks the NBA scores, walks around, talks to each of the product developers. A guy wanders in for an interview and Robert leans against the wall talking to him for 15 minutes and he's hired.” He added, “He has management down to a minimalist amount. Robert's real skill set is he finds the people who are the best or second-best in their product line then he hires them and gets out of their way. He has no middle management structure. There's nobody between Robert and the guy who designs the products" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/24). In Memphis, Robert Tillery wrote Pera has “been invited to town to meet and greet influential business leaders and participate” in Thursday’s NBA Draft. But he has “declined all offers and there is no reason to believe he’ll impact the Grizzlies’ draft” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/24).
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