ARISON FAMILY TAKES FULL CONTROL OF THE HEAT
In a deal that is promised to bring "sweeping changes" to
the Heat, the Arison family Friday bought out managing partners
Lewis Schaffel and Billy Cunningham for an estimated $60M. The
deal still requires the approval of the NBA, which Micky Arison
said he expects within two weeks. Upon approval, Micky Arison
would become managing general partner. Although he "may not find
the right person until after the season is over," Arison wants to
hire a GM to run the team "as quickly as possible." Under the
new deal, Micky's mother, Lin Arison, will hold 100% of Florida
Basketball Association, "the general partnership that controls
the team and has rights to 50 percent of its profits and losses."
Also, she "will hold 88 percent of the limited partnership that
has rights to the remaining 50 percent of profits and losses."
Julio Iglesias, Raanan Katz, Robert Sturges and Amancio Suarez
will remain as limited partners of the team, continuing to hold
12% of the limited partnership (Ted Reed, KNIGHT-RIDDER, 1/29).
In Miami, Bob Rubin writes that the "air of uncertainty has hung
over the franchise since Whit Hudson's failed bid to buy
operating control has cleared" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/28).
STAYING IN MIAMI? Contrary to Schaffel's belief that the
team could not "survive economically" in Miami, Arison is
"determined to keep the Heat in Miami, either playing in Miami
Arena or nearby." Arison has not ruled out the possibility of
working with Panthers owner Wayne Huizenga to build a new
downtown arena (Bob Rubin, MIAMI HERALD, 1/28).