The ownership group of the Atlanta Hawks is in its final stages in finalizing the sale of the team to Antony Ressler’s group. Antony is an investment fund manager and equity billionaire. This information was leaked to ESPN by three people familiar with the sales process. The individuals requested obscurity because they were not sanctioned to speak about the process before it was complete publicly.
The Antony Ressler’s group, which included former NBA players Jesse Itzler and Grant Hill, Marquis Jet co-founder, is buying the Atlanta Hawks from Michael Gearon Jnr., Bruce Levenson, and other investors in the deal for $850 million.
Itzler’s wife, Spanx founder, and Rice partner Rick Schnall & Clayton Dubilier and Steven Starker, BTIG co-founder are part of the group headed by Ressler. NBA owners will approve the sale process of the team but are expected.
On Wednesday evening, the Hawks announced the sealing of the deal. We are extremely thrilled and honored to be chosen as the new stewards of the Atlanta Hawks team, Said Ressler in a statement. We respect the approval of NBA, therefore, can say less than we are excited by the success of the Atlanta Hawks so far and support them in their next playoffs.
Irwin Raij, Foley & Lardner law representative, facilitated the entire sales process and other sports franchise, said that the sale price is one of the strongest in the market. This price reflects NBA’s product strength and what can become of the market views, said the attorney. This will take into account the local and national media deals and the increasing trend in NBA teams’ valuations. This price will be viewed positively in the market. Gearon, UCG founder Bruce Levenson, and other members purchased the Hawks and the Philips Arena operating rights for $250 million in 2004, and the Thrashers were sold in 2011 for $170 million.