HoopsHype Michael Heisley rumors

December 20, 2012 Updates
December 1, 2012 Updates

With Memphis off to a fast start, former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has been telling team execs that he wishes he hadn't sold the team, after all. It's not just that the Grizzlies look like they have one of the top teams in the West. Heisley has shed almost 80 pounds in recent months and has found himself getting around with renewed energy. New York Daily News

November 10, 2012 Updates

We haven't necessarily seen the last of former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. Not if you buy what's circulating with increasing volume about Heisley's interest in eventually buying the Milwaukee Bucks from Herb Kohl. Sale speculation about the Bucks has been a staple for years, but the latest scenario has the Chicago-based Heisley making a serious bid to buy the franchise if Sen. Kohl can secure the new building (or Bradley Center refurbishment) that would cement the team's future in Wisconsin. ESPN.com

November 8, 2012 Updates

The Pera-led group closed on the $377 million purchase of the franchise from Michael Heisley late last month. A source told The Commercial Appeal Monday night that the group used $125 million available to NBA teams through the league's credit facility and another $50 million in bank financing to close the deal. But that's nothing new in the NBA. Nineteen of the league's 30 teams use the league's $2.3 billion credit facility, and many use it to the $125 million per-franchise maximum. The facility is a pool of money banks provide through the league and offer at lower rates because of the NBA's credit worthiness and other guaranteed future revenue factors such as its long-term television deal. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Franchises are also allowed up to $50 million in financing provided outside of the NBA's facility. The financing is a significant chunk of the purchase, but it isn't known precisely how the rest of the equity is divvied up since Pera's group has said it would not disclose ownership percentages. As controlling owner and chairman, Pera is the largest shareholder. Sources told The Commercial Appeal last month that Pera will own less than 50 percent of the franchise; league rules require controlling owners to own at least 15 percent. Twenty-four people or entities are listed as partners. Memphis Commercial Appeal

November 1, 2012 Updates

The Memphis Grizzlies have changed owners officially, and the new bosses want to make clear their commitment to staying in Tennessee very clear. "The Grizzlies are here to stay in Memphis," new Grizzlies chairman Robert J. Pera said. The Grizzlies announced Wednesday that the reported $377 million sale by Michael Heisley had been finalized to a group led by Pera, a former Apple engineer who founded the communications technology company Ubiquiti Networks. The group includes local businessmen, entertainer Justin Timberlake, Memphis native and former NBA player Penny Hardaway, a former U.S. congressman and Ashley Manning, wife of four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning. ESPN.com

An introductory media conference will be held at 10 a.m. this coming Monday, November 5. Pera and members of the new ownership group will be on hand for their first event at FedExForum to tip-off a new era in Memphis Grizzlies basketball and both media and the general public are invited to attend. For those members of Grizz Nation unable to attend in person, the press conference will be streamed in its entirety online at grizzlies.com. ESPN.com

October 29, 2012 Updates

Robert Pera is officially the Grizzlies' majority owner. The 34-year-old Silicon Valley wireless technology entrepreneur on Monday afternoon closed his deal to buy the NBA franchise from Michael Heisley, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. Pera's purchase price was recorded at $377 million in documents presented last week to the NBA Board of Governors, a source said. The league voted unanimously to approve transfer of ownership to Pera's group during its meeting last Thursday. Pera becomes just the second owner of Memphis's major league sports franchise on the eve of its 12th season in the Bluff City. Memphis Commercial Appeal

$377,000,000 -- Final sales price, per sources, of the Memphis Grizzlies from former owner Michael Heisley to a group led by wireless technology entrepreneur Robert Pera. There had been questions about Pera's financial stake after his Ubiquiti Networks wireless equipment supply company reportedly lost tens of millions of dollars in value in recent months, but Pera bolstered his group -- which includes minority ownership stakes by Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, ex-NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway and former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. -- with two substantial minority partners who each put up more than $25 million in cash, according to a source. NBA.com

October 25, 2012 Updates
October 23, 2012 Updates

Robert Pera's bid to own the Grizzlies is on the agenda for consideration by the NBA's Board of Governors at its meetings Wednesday and Thursday in New York City, sources familiar with the process told The Commercial Appeal. If the board approves the deal, only one hurdle would remain before the completion of the first ownership transfer in the Grizzlies' 11 years in Memphis: Pera's group would then have to close the deal with current owner Michael Heisley. Pera agreed in June to buy the team from Heisley for what is believed to be $350 million. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Sources told ESPN.com that one of the key agenda items at this week's two-day Board of Governors session in Manhattan is ratifying the transfer of control of the Grizzlies from the outgoing Michael Heisley to Pera's star-studded consortium, which includes actor/singer Justin Timberlake as well as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and wife Ashley. Timberlake and Ashley Manning are native Memphians, as are two more prominent minority owners in Pera's group: Ex-NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway and former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. ESPN.com

Sources said on Monday that Pera has likewise since recruited Los Angeles-based financier Stephen Kaplan to join the Grizzlies' new ownership group. Approval is generally regarded as a formality once it advances to the point of being presented to the league's Board of Governors -- which includes a voting representative from every NBA franchise -- for a vote. ESPN.com

October 4, 2012 Updates

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning isn't allowed to own a piece of a football team per NFL rules, but that doesn't mean he can't own a piece of another team in another sport. Sources have confirmed to ESPN.com that Manning is part of the proposed ownership group led by Robert Pera, who agreed to buy the Memphis Grizzlies from Michael Heisley for about $350 million this summer. ESPN.com

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