Sale of Atlanta Hawks approved by NBA
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club today announced that its purchase by an ownership group led by Tony Ressler was completed yesterday, following the unanimous approval by the NBA Board of Governors.
“On behalf of our ownership group, we are so excited to officially become part of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, an important civic asset to the community,” said Ressler. “We look forward to building upon the success of the team’s incredible playoff run this past season and the excitement it generated in the entire community.”
Ressler will serve as Principal Owner and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hawks and as the team’s Governor on the NBA Board of Governors. Other investors include seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, who will serve as Vice Chair of the Board, Townsquare Media Chair and CEO Steven Price, Clayton Dubilier & Rice partner Rick Schnall, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely and Marquis Jet co-founder Jesse Itzler, who are married.
According to ESPN.com, “Ressler and his partners, including existing Hawks partner Steven Price and former NBA player Grant Hill, agreed to purchase the Hawks for approximately $850 million, including debt obligations, in April. The deal includes the operating rights to Philips Arena.”
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “the ownership group also includes former owners Steven Price and Bob Goodman from the New York-based group. Michael Gearon Jr. and Sr. and Rutherford Seydel of the Atlanta-based group will retain a small investment of one percent combined. They were grandfathered in from the new NBA rule that requires an individual owner have at least a one percent share in a team. There are others with a small share in the franchise and Philips Arena. Ressler is the clear majority owner with a nearly 50 percent stake.”
About Tony Ressler
Tony Ressler co-founded Ares Management L.P., a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset management firm with approximately $87 billion of assets under management as of March 31,2015, in 1997. Ares operates four investment groups that invest in tradable credit, direct lending, private equity, and real estate. Ares currently has approximately 800 employees with offices in Atlanta in addition to its headquarters in Los Angeles and other offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Shanghai. Ares Management’s current portfolio includes investments in several Atlanta area-based businesses including Floor & Décor Outlets of America, Inc., Serta Simmons Bedding, and Insight Global.
In the nonprofit sector, Ressler serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (“LACMA”) and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Georgetown University. He is also one of the founding members of the Board and Co-Finance Chair of the Painted Turtle Camp (affiliated with Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Association), which serves children dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses by providing old-fashioned camping experiences.
In the charter/public education sector, Ressler is a Founder and Board Co-Chair of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles. Since 2004, the Alliance has grown to 26 free, public charter middle and high schools serving approximately 11,000 students from LA’s poorest communities with historically underperforming schools. Four Alliance schools have been named California Distinguished Schools and three are ranked in the top 10 of all LAUSD schools. More than 90% of Alliance graduates have gone on to college.
Ressler received his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and received his MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Tony and his wife, actress Jami Gertz, have three sons.
About Grant Hill
Grant Hill is one of the most accomplished NBA players of this generation and a seven-time NBA All-Star. He is currently a managing principal and founder of Penta Mezzanine Fund, a private equity mezzanine firm. Hill oversees Penta’s day-to-day activities, including the review and analysis of prospective investments as well as leading investor relations efforts and raising more than $85M for the fund. Hill also leads Hill Ventures, a private commercial real estate investment company that for the past 18 years has successfully invested in several multi-family residential complexes and other commercial real estate properties throughout Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Washington, DC.
In addition to his frequent speaking appearances, Hill has had significant broadcasting roles with CBS Sports, Turner Sports and NBA TV. In 2015, Hill was added as a game analyst for CBS Sports’ broadcasts of the NCAA Final Four and National Championship game, where he joined commentators Bill Raftery and Jim Nantz to call games throughout the tournament. Additionally, Hill also participated in TNT’s coverage of the NCAA March to the Final Four and NBA Playoffs. Additionally, he serves as an occasional studio analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA. For NBA TV, Hill is the co-host of NBA Inside Stuff throughout the NBA regular season and a studio analyst on its GameTime broadcast.
Hill’s philanthropic activities include as a Member on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and an active participant in the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Through the Grant and Tamia Hill Foundation, Hill has funded the Calvin Hill Scholarship at the Duke Divinity School, as well as programs including Child Abuse Prevention, the Grant Hill Achiever Scholarship programs in Orlando and Detroit, and has made contributions to Habitat for Humanity. Hill serves on the Board of Directors of the Orlando Museum of Art and the Trinity School of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, and he is the Chairman of Duke University Basketball’s Legacy Fund.
Hill and his wife, Tamia, a 7-time Grammy-nominated singer, have two daughters.