A group headed by former baseball star Alex Rodriguez has come to terms on its purchase of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Lynx a month after signing a letter of intent to do so.
The sale price is reported to be $1.5 billion, and A-Rod’s ownership along with businessman Marc Lore now must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
The Timberwolves and Lynx organization, owned since 1994 by Glen Taylor, released the following statement Friday afternoon: “Glen Taylor has reached an agreement with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez regarding the sale and future ownership of the Timberwolves and Lynx. The transaction will close following league approval, beginning the transition of ownership and a new chapter of Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball.“
Rodriguez was part of a group in the running to buy the New York Mets before they were sold to Steve Cohen late last year in a deal worth $2.42 billion.
Rodriguez, a former All-Star third baseman and shortstop who finished his career as a New York Yankee with 696 homers—good for fourth all-time—will be on the National Baseball Hall of Fame writer’s ballot for the first time later this year.
A-Rod said after the Mets bid was denied that he would continue to comb the market for a professional sports team.
Lore, a former chief executive of Walmart’s e-commerce division, is worth at least $320 million in figures compiled earlier this year. He still owns 35,000 units of Walmart stock worth $161.6 million.
A-Rod earned $441.3 million during his 22-year baseball career that ended during the 2016 season.
“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor,” Rodriguez and Lore said in their own statement when the letter of intent was reported. “Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization, the talented team, and their incredible fans.”
Taylor purchased the Timberwolves in 1994 for $90 million, and put the team on the market this past summer.
He will turn 80 on April 21 and will continue as the controlling owner until 2023 as part of the phase-in approach for the new ownership group. And a key stipulation of the deal is that the franchise will remain in Minneapolis where it was born in 1989 as an NBA expansion team.
Taylor is worth $2.9 billion.
It would be the second sale of an NBA team this season. The Utah Jazz were sold to Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith in December by the Gail Miller family in a transaction valued at $1.66 billion.