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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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A-Rod and Lore’s Timberwolves Ownership Plans Still on Track

  • The duo currently owns 40% of the NBA team and its WNBA counterpart.
  • A March 31 deadline to acquire a further 40% was in danger of being missed.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are supposed to become the majority owners of the Timberwolves by the end of this month, and, despite a wrench getting thrown into their plans over the last 24 hours, it looks like the long-awaited transition of power will still take place.

Dyal HomeCourt Partners, the division of global asset management firm Blue Owl that owns minority stakes in the Hawks and Kings, will help fund Rodriguez and Lore’s acquisition of a second 40% stake in Minnesota that will make the pair controlling investors, according to The Athletic. The news should clear up the confusion that arose Tuesday night when it looked as if controlling interest in the Timberwolves may end up staying with longtime governor Glen Taylor, at least for a little while longer, due to some complex financing issues.

Here’s What Happened

In 2021, Rodriguez and Lore agreed to purchase Minnesota, as well as the WNBA’s Lynx, in a multistep deal that valued the franchises at a collective $1.5 billion. The duo has already acquired 40% of the teams but had to delay the completion of the acquisition of the next 40%, via a $600 million payment, from Dec. 31 to March 31. On Tuesday, Taylor gave an update on the process to Minnesota sports reporter David Shama: “They had an equity group that was going to come in and put in $300 million, and that equity group has either withdrawn or the NBA has denied them. They have to go out and find new revenue. That I do know. I don’t know if they found it or what they’re going to do. We haven’t seen the schedule of ownership yet.”

The financier Taylor referenced is private equity firm Carlyle Group, which was cofounded by David Rubenstein, the billionaire who is leading the $1.75 billion purchase of the Baltimore Orioles. (The Maryland Stadium Authority actually just signed off on the sale Wednesday.) Carlyle is also part of the group that just bought the NWSL’s Seattle Reign FC for $58 million (the group includes the MLS club Seattle Sounders.) 

Despite some reports to the contrary, the NBA, in a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, denied that the league had blocked Carlyle’s deal to help fund the Timberwolves purchase. Carlyle had been said to be investing at a $2.3 billion valuation for Minnesota—about $800 million more than the team was worth when Rodriguez and Lore struck the initial deal. In January, The Wall Street Journal pegged Rodriguez’s net worth to be just under $500 million, and Lore’s at $3.3 billion. 

But now, with the backing of Dyal, Lore and Rodriguez are ready to close the sale as soon as the NBA approves it, per The Athletic’s report. That shouldn’t be long, considering Dyal is already preapproved through its investments in the Hawks and Kings. A representative for Rodriguez did not immediately return a request by Front Office Sports for comment.

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