HoopsHype Mike Ilitch rumors

March 8, 2011 Updates

Two days after The Detroit News reported at least one new potential bidder is interested in buying the Pistons, Mike Ozanian said in his blog at Forbes.com on Monday a previous bidder, Mike Ilitch, is back in the fray. Ozanian said Ilitch is hoping to spend $360 million — the same amount he bid last year. Detroit News

March 2, 2011 Updates
January 31, 2011 Updates

Davidson rarely made demands. He gave constructive criticism. He simply wanted to know what was going on. And seeing the owner just about every day energized the staff. When Davidson died, some of the brain trust that made the Pistons the talk of the sports marketing world began to leave, including many to rival Mike Ilitch and Olympia Entertainment. Ilitch still remains as a potential buyer of the team. "When Mr. Davidson died, it put so many things out of place at The Palace," former Pistons coach Ray Scott said. "People began to leave that made the organization. Much of that brain power was lost. That staff was lost. Now you have Joe sitting there, who wants to pull some deals, who cannot until the pending sale is complete." Detroit News

January 16, 2011 Updates

Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch apparently looked at the Pistons' books and ancillary properties and decided they weren't worth the $425 million that the team's present owners are seeking. Some league officials think the Pistons will fetch around $310 million. New York Daily News

December 15, 2010 Updates

According to one person familiar with the negotiations, after agreeing to a price in excess of $400 million (my source was not more specific), Ilitch discovered the revenues presented in the prospectus were inflated. Ilitch, one of the great gentleman owners in sports, got pissed, lowered his offer price and the deal quickly blew up. I hope to find out more about the actual price in the near future. Forbes

December 8, 2010 Updates

Mike Ilitch is staying quiet about his quest to buy the Detroit Pistons. Ilitch declined comment when asked for an update on the sale and his wife, Marian, said "mum's the word," before their Detroit Red Wings played the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Mike Ilitch also owns the Detroit Tigers. woodtv.com

December 7, 2010 Updates

Mike Ilitch is staying quiet about his quest to buy the Detroit Pistons. Ilitch declined comment when asked for an update on the sale and his wife, Marian, said "mum's the word," before their Detroit Red Wings played the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Mike Ilitch also owns the Detroit Tigers. ESPN.com

Speculation that Beverly Hills private equity billionaire Tom Gores is working with Little Caesars pizza chain co-founder Mike Ilitch on a deal to jointly buy the Detroit Pistons is untrue, a source said today. Whether it's untrue because it's premature remains to be seen. "There are no active discussions right now," an aide to Gores said today. Crain's

Sources familiar with the situation say that Gores may be open to being part of a deal led by the Ilitches, who cite a confidentiality agreement in not talking to the media about the Pistons negotiations. Gores, a Michigan State University graduate raised in the Flint area, is founder of Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity LLC, one of the largest private equity firms in the country. He was unsuccessful in a bid a last year ago to buy Troy-based auto supplier Delphi Holdings LLC for $3.6 billion. Crain's

December 2, 2010 Updates
November 14, 2010 Updates

A source with knowledge of the negotiations said while the Ilitches were originally the highest bidder, they reduced the offer. Davidson and Citibank then decided to reopen the process to allow other bidders to negotiate again. The Ilitches originally bid in excess of $400 million, higher than expected, for an NBA franchise in a season before expected labor strife and in a state wracked by a difficult economy. As Davidson announced her intention to sell the team, insiders predicted it would draw bids in the $300 million range rather than the estimated value of the franchise, about $475 million. Detroit News

November 13, 2010 Updates

With none of the participants commenting, sports industry insiders continued to mull the status of the sale of the Pistons on Friday, with some concluding it's likely Ilitch Holdings Inc. lowered its bid in recent days. Mike and Marian Ilitch received an exclusive 30-day period to finalize the sale in early October with the prospect Pistons owner Karen Davidson and her agent, Citibank, might extend it to late November. But the process has been opened to other bidders, according to observers. "But how far the door is open, or if this is just a negotiating technique, I don't know," said Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp Ltd., of Chicago, who has brokered a number of high profile stadium deals. Detroit News

A source with knowledge of the negotiations said while the Ilitches were originally the highest bidder, they reduced the offer. Davidson and Citibank then decided to reopen the process to allow other bidders to negotiate again. The Ilitches originally bid in excess of $400 million, higher than expected, for an NBA franchise in a season before expected labor strife and in a state wracked by a difficult economy. As Davidson announced her intention to sell the team, insiders predicted it would draw bids in the $300 million range rather than the estimated value of the franchise, about $475 million. Detroit News

November 11, 2010 Updates

Previous bidders on the Detroit Pistons have reportedly been contacted about their interest in the NBA franchise after talks between the current owner and Detroit pizza and sports industrialist Mike Ilitch have bogged down. Ilitch, the Little Caesar’s Enterprises Inc. co-founder and owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, is still considered the front-runner to buy the Pistons, the industry trade magazine Sports Business Journal reported today. Crain's

November 9, 2010 Updates

Detroit Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch was in Toronto today to see Wings executive Jimmy Devellano get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He ended up talking a little basketball as well. “We’re getting close,” Ilitch said when asked if there was any news to report about him buying Pistons. “We’re getting close.” When asked whether the Wings could play at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Ilitch said: “Well, I don’t want to get into all that. We’re going to build a stadium in Detroit. ... I want two teams in one building. So that’s all I can tell you.” Detroit Free Press

October 30, 2010 Updates

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