Palace Sports and Entertainment (PS&E) and Detroit Pistons Basketball Company (DPBC) owner Karen Davidson today announced a definitive agreement to sell PS&E, DPBC, and their respective assets – including the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and the operating rights to Meadow Brook Music Festival – to financier Tom Gores and his investment firm, Platinum Equity.
Terms of the agreement, which is still subject to review and approval by the NBA’s Board of Governors, were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to welcome Tom Gores as the new owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment,” said Karen Davidson. “Just as my late husband, Bill Davidson, was the face of the Pistons, I am confident that Tom will bring the same energy, dedication and love to this organization. I look forward to seeing Tom follow in Bill’s footsteps, and carry on his legacy.”
“From the Pistons players, coaches and front office, who helped bring home three world championships, to the management and staff at the Palace, DTE and Meadow Brook, who earned us international recognition, we look forward to facilitating a smooth transition under Tom and achieving even greater success in the future.”
Mr. Gores is the Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a global investment firm whose holdings include 34 portfolio companies in such diverse business sectors as technology, media and entertainment, industrials, metals processing, automotive supply, and distribution and logistics.
The firm specializes in navigating complex business environments, and Mr. Gores said he sees great potential for revitalizing PS&E and the Pistons franchise.
“I am very proud to have this opportunity to be part of such a tremendous organization,” Mr. Gores said. “I know it’s been a long process and I appreciate the patience and support of the Detroit community. I have been impressed with the Davidson family and the way it has protected and built such a storied franchise. I grew up here, I am glad to be back, and I am very excited about all the possibilities looking forward.”
Comerica Bank, a longtime financing partner of Platinum Equity, will provide financing on the transaction. The transaction is expected to close by June 30, pending league approval and normal closing conditions.
Citi Private Bank’s Sports Advisory group acted as sell-side advisor on the transaction.
Outside of these statements, all parties have agreed to continue to abide by the terms of their confidentiality agreement pending final close of the transaction.