Owners Box: Club Member Newsletter - June 15th
Rob Walton secures Broncos, LeBron eyes Vegas NBA team & Phil Knight pursues the Blazers
Owners Box is FanClub Sports’ newsletter and investment community. Every other week we breakdown the recent news in sports investment, M&A, and technology
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News & Highlights:
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James says he wants to own NBA team in Las Vegas
New Zealand Rugby’s NZ$200m Silver Lake deal over final hurdle as it passes union vote
Blazers: Team Not for Sale Despite Phil Knight, Alan Smolinisky’s Reported $2B Offer
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Recent Sports M&A News and Developments
NFL Team Values Rise 12% After Broncos Sale - Front Office Sports - June 14th, 2022
Rob Walton’s $4.65 billion purchase of the Denver Broncos is changing the math on NFL team valuations.
Forbes determined that the average NFL team value should increase 12%, based on what Walton could have paid to secure the team.
The next-highest bid for the Broncos was reportedly around $4 billion.
Walton presumably could have secured the team for $4.2 billion but wanted an expedited process — with an estimated net worth of $56.5 billion, he had cash to spare.
That $4.2 billion figure is 12% above Forbes’ 2021 estimate of the team’s value of $3.75 billion.
By that calculation, the average team value would rise from $3.5 billion to $3.9 billion.
The Broncos had $500 million in estimated revenue in 2021. Walton paid 9.3 times that sum.
Consider the First Sports SPACs Already Dead - yahoo!sports - June 14th, 2022
It was two years ago this week that sports-focused RedBall Acquisition Corp. filed its draft prospectus with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The Gerry Cardinale and Billy Beane-led special purpose acquisition company wanted to raise $500 million to pursue a professional sports franchise.
Now RedBall can do little but count the hours until it has to fold up the tents. With no target in hand and 61 days left until its self-imposed two-year limit to close a merger, RedBall probably will dissolve and return $10 per share in cash back to stockholders after dashed attempts to bring Fenway Sports Group and then SeatGeek public.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James says he wants to own NBA team in Las Vegas - ESPN - June 9th, 2022
LeBron James, whose net worth was recently valuated north of $1 billion by Forbes, has made it known for years that he plans to own an NBA team when he is finished playing.
Now that vision has a location.
"I want a team in Vegas," James said in a clip from the latest episode of his talk show, "The Shop," that will debut Friday. "I want the team in Vegas."
James, who is already a part-owner of Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox, said last season that his "goal is to own an NBA franchise," adding, "and it will be sooner than later."
Denver Broncos sold to Walmart heir for record US$4.65bn - Sports Pro Media - June 8th, 2022
Purchase price more than doubles previous record for an NFL franchise
New ownership group led by Rob Walton, whose net worth is estimated at US$59bn
Deal expected to close within 90 days, pending approval by league owners
The Denver Broncos have been sold to an investment group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for US$4.65 billion – a record price for a North American sports franchise.
On 7th June, the National Football League (NFL) team announced that a sale agreement had been reached with the group, which also includes Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, her husband Greg and Mellody Hobson, the co-chief executive of Ariel Investments.
The deal, which remains subject to approval by the NFL’s finance committee and then a vote by league owners, is expected to be completed within 90 days.
New Zealand Rugby’s NZ$200m Silver Lake deal over final hurdle as it passes union vote - Sports Pro Media - June 6th, 2022
New Zealand Rugby (NZR)’s provincial unions have given majority approval of Silver Lake’s NZ$200 million (US$130.45 million) minority stake investment in the national rugby union body’s newly formed commercial vehicle.
NZ$100 million (US$67 million) will go into NZR CommercialCo, which will house all revenue-generating assets of NZR, but Silver Lake’s funding will be distributed into the New Zealand domestic game at all levels, through its partnership with NZR and the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association (NZRPA).
HBSE Valued at $3B After Arctos Buys Minority Stake - Front Office Sports - June 6th, 2022
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment has sold a stake in the company to Arctos Sports Partners, reportedly valuing the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils at $3 billion.
The deal allows Arctos — a private equity investor that has raised at least $5 billion across multiple funds — to purchase more than a 5% stake in HBSE over an undisclosed period.
Blazers: Team Not for Sale Despite Phil Knight, Alan Smolinisky’s Reported $2B Offer - Bleacher Report - June 2nd, 2022
The Portland Trail Blazers responded to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday that Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Alan Smolinisky made an offer of more than $2 billion for the team.
"An offer was made by Phil Knight," the team said in a statement. "The team remains not for sale."
Woj reported that Knight and Smolinisky are expected to continue seeking a purchase, however.
The Paul G. Allen Trust is currently operating the franchise and is run by Allen's sister Jody. Paul Allen died in 2018.
Allen, who co-founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates, purchased the team in 1988. He also purchased the Seattle Seahawks in 1997 and was a part-owner of MLS's Seattle Sounders.
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