SBD/September 27, 2012/Franchises

Grizzlies Owner Heisley Expresses Confidence Team's Sale To Pera Group Will Materialize

Heisley says he is "not really worried" about the completion of the team's sale
Grizzlies Owner Michael Heisley "remains confident about his agreement to sell the team to Robert Pera despite the more-than three months that have expired since the deal was announced," according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Heisley said, "I don't think it's dragging on. ... The banking industry is a lot more cautious and it takes a little longer than it did in the past. But I have no reason to believe that it won't go forward." He added, "I'm not really worried about whether (the sale) will consummate or not." Heisley added that it is "business as usual until Pera is approved." He said, "There's an understanding between me and Mr. Pera that I would go forward and make the decisions that need to be made. If there's any problem, we'll get together. But he agrees with the way we've conducted business" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/27). A COMMERCIAL APPEAL editorial states Pera "has the financial wherewithal to purchase the team and operate it successfully." The editorial asks if the Shelby County (Tenn.) Commissioners who objected to the transfer of the FedExForum lease "really think the NBA is going to let the Grizzlies be sold to someone who doesn't have the deep pockets to operate the team?" The NBA "surely does not want to get into another situation like the one in which it owned the New Orleans Hornets for almost two years" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/27).
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