Wednesday September 27, 2023

Jeff Bezos, Others Looking at Suns and Mercury

  • The Phoenix Suns are already attracting many well-heeled suitors.
  • Jeff Bezos, Bob Iger, Larry Ellison, and Laurene Jobs are all reportedly interested.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Within a day of Robert Sarver’s announcement that he is selling the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, an assortment of billionaire former CEOs have emerged as potential buyers.

Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos could reportedly consider a bid, as might former Disney CEO Bob Iger, former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and Laurene Jobs, widow of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs.

The market for NBA teams has been active in recent years.

  • The Suns were valued by Forbes last year at $1.8 billion.
  • The Houston Rockets were sold to Tilman Fertitta in 2017 for $2.2 billion.
  • Last year, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore bought the Minnesota Timberwolves for $1.5 billion.

While only three people in the world can match Bezos’ net worth of $140.7 billion, per Forbes, Ellison — the seventh-richest person with $93.5 billion — would have no trouble matching a bid. Iger showed interest in buying the team last year.

Still Sarver’s Team

While Sarver owns approximately 35% of the Suns, he reportedly has the authority to sell the team in full due to his status as managing partner. He will also be in control of the sale process and the selection of bids, though the incoming owner will need to be approved by the other NBA team owners.

The sale process is expected to take several months.

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