Comcast-Spectacor today announced it has reached an agreement to sell the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team to a group led by Joshua Harris, Co-Founder of Apollo Global Management, LLC. Terms of the agreement, which is subject to approval by the National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors, were not disclosed.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, sources have put the value of the deal at $280 million for full, 100 percent team ownership.
The acquisition does not include the Wells Fargo Center or the Philadelphia Flyers, which are owned by Comcast-Spectacor. The team will remain a long-term tenant of the Wells Fargo Center and will have a long-term cable broadcast agreement for its games with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to be affiliated with this storied franchise,” said Harris. “As a basketball fan who attended college in Philadelphia, and with family roots here, I have always felt a strong connection to this City and the 76ers. We look forward to helping the 76ers organization build on this past season’s accomplishments in the years ahead. The ownership group also looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Comcast-Spectacor.”
The new ownership also includes David Blitzer, a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group, who commented, “We are excited to become associated with this iconic team and to have the chance to serve the great City of Philadelphia and its loyal basketball fans.”
Other members of the investor group include Art Wrubel and Jason Levien. Harris, Blitzer and the other investors are making personal investments; Apollo and Blackstone are not involved in the transaction.
The transaction is expected to close later in 2011, subject to NBA approval and customary closing conditions.
Comcast-Spectacor is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers; the Philadelphia 76ers; the home for both teams, the Wells Fargo Center; and four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 100 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; New Era Tickets, a ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; and Paciolan, the leading provider of venue enablement, ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions.
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