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April 23, 2015 Updates
April 22, 2015 Updates

The Atlanta Hawks today announced that a definitive agreement has been signed for the purchase of the NBA franchise by an ownership group led by Tony Ressler, co-founder of Ares Management. The group also includes seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, Clayton Dubilier & Rice partner Rick Schnall, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely and Marquis Jet co-founder Jesse Itzler, who are married. NBA.com

The transaction, which includes operation of Philips Arena, requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. Terms of the sale were not released. The sellers were advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Inner Circle Sports, and the buyer by Moelis & Co. NBA.com

“We are honored and thrilled to have been chosen to become the new stewards of the Hawks,” said Ressler. “We respect the NBA’s approval process and, accordingly, can say no more other than we are incredibly excited by the Hawks’ success and wish them luck in the playoffs." NBA.com

The Milwaukee Bucks and state and local officials did not reach a financing deal for a new $500 million arena during a closed-door meeting Wednesday in the state Capitol, though those who attended described it as productive and planned to meet again Thursday. The team, state and local leaders are trying to come up with a plan to split the costs of the new arena in downtown Milwaukee that would be put of a larger $1 billion entertainment district. Without a new stadium by 2017, the NBA has said it will buy back the team and relocate it. Those attending Wednesday's meeting included Bucks president Peter Feigin, Republican legislative leaders and Milwaukee officials. The discussions come as the Bucks are playing the Bulls in the NBA playoffs. Boston Herald

Billionaire philanthropist Antony Ressler leads a group that has reached an agreement to purchase the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena for an amount believed to be less than $1 billion, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has confirmed. Ressler, 55, is a co-founder of two private equity firms, Apollo Global Management and Ares Management. He is also a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. According to Forbes, he is worth approximately $1.43 billion dollars. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Steve Kyler: Hawks said to be sold for $730 million --- far cry from the $1.2 billion figure some tossed around. Hawks $730 million price illustrates how much Steve Ballmer overpaid for the Clippers not the new bench mark many hoped teams would command. Twitter @stevekylerNBA

April 20, 2015 Updates

"If the state comes in at $150 million, the deal is dead, and the Bucks will move," city alderman Bob Bauman told Milwaukee Magazine this week. The arena would be in his district. "The gap is too big." Meanwhile, a poll released this week by Marquette University Law School was bleak for the Bucks. Nearly 80 percent of the respondents didn't favor public funding for the arena even though the current plan includes no new taxes. In Milwaukee itself, 67 percent of those polled were against giving the Bucks public money. As for Walker, who is a strong supporter of the arena construction plan, his approval ratings have dropped over the past several months. As he's about to run for president, he now has a 41 percent approval rating in his home state. ESPN.com

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