Looking for Cash? Comcast Reportedly in Talks to Sell 76ers
Comcast-Spectacor is in advanced talks to sell the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to a group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris, sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
Comcast-Spectacor COO Peter Luukko told the Associated Press that there are “discussions about the future of the team” that are confidential, but he did not address a possible sale. Any deal would have to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
Perhaps Comcast, which holds a controlling interest in NBCUniversal, is looking for some cash after it won the rights Tuesday to televise four Olympic Games through 2020 in a deal reportedly worth more than $4 billion.
A day earlier, NBCUniversal confirmed that it plans to acquire the remaining 50% stake of Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks from Blackstone Group for nearly $1 billion.
Through his holding company Spectacor, Ed Snider has controlled the Sixers since 1996 -- the same year Spectacor merged with Comcast. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center where both teams play. The company would continue to own and operate the arena with the Sixers as a tenant, according to sources.
Forbes valued the Sixers at $330 million in February.
Harris in 1990 co-founded Apollo Global Management, which invests primarily in distressed properties. Other investors in the deal, according to ESPN, include private equity executive David Blitzer and former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien.
In 2002, Blitzer in 2002 to create the London-based European office of Blackstone.