The NBA unanimously approved billionaire Robert Pera’s bid for the Grizzlies, reported the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The league’s finance committee unanimously approved the deal on Wednesday night, and the Board of Governors followed suit Thursday morning.
Pera, 34, is a wireless technology entrepreneur and had agreed to buy the team from current owner Michael Heisley for what is believed to be $350 million. Other investors who joined Pera’s bid include Justin Timberlake, Peyton Manning and Penny Hardaway. The deal still has to be closed with Heisley, but the league’s approval was viewed as the most significant obstacle.
Darren Rovell commented via Twitter:
When Robert Pera’s company’s stock started tanking, I thought there was no shot he would close Grizzlies deal. He put together quite a team.—
darren rovell (@darrenrovell) October 25, 2012
NBA Commissioner David Stern expressed his sentiments about the deal:
“We are delighted that the NBA’s Board of Governors has approved Robert Pera’s purchase of the Grizzlies,” said Stern in a statement. “Robert will no doubt bring great energy and passion to the franchise. He has assembled an ownership group with very strong local ties, and we anticipate that their commitment to the Memphis area will greatly benefit both the team and the community.”
Heisley, 75, purchased the team in 2000 and orchestrated the move from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001.