HoopsHype Karen Davidson rumors

March 31, 2011 Updates

Much remains in play, sources say, including whether Davidson and Bill Davidson's children will retain a portion of the franchise or are paid significant revenue from the entertainment properties, including the DTE Energy Music Theater. "It just shows how complex these dealings remain, even after all that has been discussed," a source close to the negotiations said. Detroit News

March 8, 2011 Updates

The News reported Saturday that at least one entity that had not previously submitted a bid sought to make an offer recently but was told to wait, while negotiations continued with Gores. A spokesman for the NBA said Gores and Davidson are negotiating. "Regarding Tom Gores and Karen Davidson," said the spokesman, Mike Bass, "the parties are continuing to work towards the completion ofa deal." Meanwhile, spokesmen for the Ilitches; the Pistons; owner Karen Davidson; her agent, Citi Private Bank; and Gores either did not respond to requests for comment, declined comment or cited previous statements saying they are bound by a non-disclosure agreement for all bidders, which prohibits Detroit News

March 5, 2011 Updates
March 2, 2011 Updates

Despite last week’s expiration of another exclusive negotiating period, talks between Tom Gores and Karen Davidson for control of the Detroit Pistons are very much ongoing, the Free Press has learned. Gores remains committed to purchasing the Pistons, Davidson remains committed to sell to Gores, and the NBA is committed to seeing the deal become a reality, according a person familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the discussions. Detroit Free Press

February 26, 2011 Updates

Tom Gores continued to negotiate for the purchase of the Pistons on Friday as the latest exclusive arrangement for talks with owner Karen Davidson expired. Sources on both sides were mum throughout the day. There was no announcement of an agreement to extend the exclusive negotiations. But people with knowledge of the process have said since Feb. 11, when the terms of the continued talks were announced, that yet another extension was probable. Detroit News

Davidson, the widow of previous owner Bill Davidson, said 13 months ago she would sell the franchise. But the process is problematic because of the soft economy in Michigan and nationally, the declining value of the franchise and the troubled labor situation in the NBA. Many analysts are predicting the owners will lock out players for the start of training camps and perhaps the 2011-12 season. "The fact that they are still talking is about the best news to have, right now," said an observer who has negotiated the purchases of franchises in the NBA and other leagues. "This is a really tough nut to crack. "But to me it means both sides realize they are within striking distance of an agreement. And, frankly, I do not read anything at all into the fact that they did not complete it this week." Detroit News

February 21, 2011 Updates

By one measure the NBA uses to establish an ideal value for its franchises, the price tag for the Pistons should be about $420 million, according to sources who have participated in sales in both the league and other professional sports. But why would a demonstrably astute businessman like the private equity financier Tom Gores ever pay $420 million for the team, The Palace of Auburn Hills and ancillary entertainment properties when the Ilitch family offered only about $360 million? The answer is: He will not. Detroit News

Sources tell The Detroit News that both sides are closing the gap, but that what likely will happen next is that Gores' exclusive negotiation period will be extended another two weeks. "We know that there are very intense negotiations going on, which are in their final stages," Stern said. "Either there will be a deal or there won't be a deal within the next week. And every indication is there will be a deal, and we'll see how that goes." Detroit News

If the Pistons do not sell for about $420 million, it would be the second team to sell cheaply, in the eyes of the NBA and the owners, driving down the value of the league and its franchises in crucial months prior to negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the players. "Announcing a $400 million deal for the Pistons would help protect the value of the league, in essence," said one source who has helped finance the purchase of NBA franchises. "But nobody around the league will believe that number. That number is way too high for this deal. Detroit News

What is clear from the ongoing negotiations, according to people with knowledge of them, is that much ground must still be covered before an agreement is reached. "This really is not a matter of the lawyers getting together and filling in the blanks," one source said. "This is a long way from the finish line. But, they might bring it home." Detroit News

February 17, 2011 Updates

Detroit Pistons owner Karen Davidson says she's cautiously optimistic the sale of the team will be completed soon. Davidson spoke with The Associated Press at halftime Wednesday night of the Indiana Pacers-Pistons game. The NBA team and California billionaire Tom Gores have been negotiating exclusively with each other. ESPN.com

February 11, 2011 Updates

A deal has been reached to sell majority ownership of the Detroit Pistons to Los Angeles private equity billionaire Tom Gores, and National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern has been informed of the agreement, a source with knowledge of the deal told Crain’s this morning. “Negotiations are over. There is a deal. It’s for The Palace, the entertainment business, for the team. It’s subject to the approval of the NBA,” said the source, who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity. Crain's

How much owner Karen Davidson agreed to sell the basketball team for is unknown, but she and other family members will retain a minority stake. “A percentage will remain with the family,” said the source. “It’s a done deal, waiting for approval.” Crain's

Los Angeles financier Tom Gores has struck a tentative deal to buy the Pistons from Karen Davidson, a person familiar with the situation told the Free Press. The tentative agreement, which must be approved by the NBA, may be announced as early as today. The agreement was reached earlier tonight at the office of a Birmingham law firm, after several days of intense bargaining over details. Detroit Free Press

February 10, 2011 Updates

Billionaire financier Tom Gores still was in town Wednesday afternoon as his pursuit of the Pistonscontinued. On the day following his appearance at the Palace during a 100-89 loss to the Spurs, there were no official announcements from the Pistons, the NBA or Gores' company, Platinum Equity. But negotiations continue between Gores and owner Karen Davidson, who both watched Tuesday night's game from Suite 125 with Palace business executives. Detroit Free Press

When approached by reporters, Gores and Davidson politely declined to answer questions about the status of a sale. On Wednesday, executives described the suite gathering as informal. It's hard to tell whether the saga of Pistons ownership -- now in its 13th month -- is nearing an end. The Free Press has learned that although Gores wants to purchase the team, the sides have been unable to agree on a price for Palace Sports & Entertainment, the umbrella operation for the Pistons, the Palace and DTE Energy Music Theatre. Detroit Free Press

February 5, 2011 Updates

As the negotiations continue, the NBA representative was the only source willing to speak for attribution. Gores has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Pistons and Citi Private Bank, which is the agent for Karen Davidson, the principal owner of the team and Palace Sports & Entertainment. But sources with knowledge of the negotiations said there is unlikely to be a deal as soon as this weekend. That means either the exclusive period for Gores was extended, or the negotiations are continuing, regardless. Detroit News

January 31, 2011 Updates

Now, the team is in limbo and its value has taken a sharp decline. The Pistons' value dipped 25 percent according to a recent report by Forbes Magazine, from $479 million last year to $360 million. The team could miss the playoffs for the second straight season and an internal squabble between one-time star player Richard Hamilton and head coach John Kuester has players picking sides and NBA observers remarking on what happened to the once-proud franchise. "Right now, they are in limbo," said Jerry Stackhouse, a former Piston and current NBA TV commentator. "When new ownership comes in, they can decide what direction they want to go in. If they say, 'We don't want the coach anymore,' he's gone. If they say they don't want the current general manager, then he's gone. "The change in ownership is going to change the fabric of what the Pistons are, for better or for worse." Detroit News

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