Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury Set For Record 4 Billion Dollar Sale
Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury set for record 4 billion dollar sale. Mortgage executive Mat Ishbia and troubled owner Robert Sarver announced on Tuesday that they had reached an agreement in principle for Ishbia to purchase a majority stake in the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury for a total price of $4 billion.
It is anticipated that the sale will close after a period of several weeks. The National Basketball Association (NBA) will conduct a background check on Ishbia, who serves as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of United Wholesale Mortgage, which promotes itself as the largest mortgage lender in the country.
Once the investigation is finished, the NBA's board of governors will have to give their approval before the sale can go through. Even though the board is not expected to get together until March, it is possible that they will do so virtually if the screening procedure is finished in advance.
Ishbia's net worth was recently estimated to be $5.1 billion by Forbes. Ishbia is a former player for Michigan State University, where he played under the direction of Tom Izzo as a member of the team that won the NCAA championship in the year 2000.
Ishbia said in a statement Tuesday night:
I am extremely excited to be the next Governor of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. Both teams have an incredibly dynamic fan base and I have loved experiencing the energy of the Valley over the last few months. Basketball is at the core of my life, from my high school days as a player to the honor of playing for Coach Izzo and winning a national title at Michigan State University. I’ve spent the last two decades building my mortgage business, United Wholesale Mortgage, into the number one mortgage lender in America and I’m confident that we can bring that same level of success to these great organizations on and off the floor.- Mat Ishbia
If the deal is finalized at $4 billion, it will be the most expensive acquisition in the history of the NBA. In 2019, Joe Tsai spent $3.3 billion to acquire both the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center. In 2017, Tilman Fertitta spent $2.2 billion to acquire the Houston Rockets.
The Los Angeles Clippers were the only other NBA franchise that is known to have been sold for a price greater than $2 billion when Steve Ballmer purchased that team in 2014.
Magic Johnson, another Michigan State alum, tweeted Tuesday:
I had a great call with fellow Spartan Mat Ishbia congratulating him on his purchase of the Phoenix Suns. He’s going to do great things not only for the Suns organization, but for the entire league. All of the other 29 NBA teams better watch out because Mat’s a winner!- Magic Johnson
In the event that the application is accepted, Justin Ishbia, Mat's brother, will also be a part of the ownership group. The team's governor will be Mat Ishbia, and Justin will serve as the alternate governor.
Ishbia's business is based on the concept of teamwork, and he frequently shares the life lessons he picked up while playing basketball at Michigan State for Tom Izzo and Mateen Cleaves. Even more, there is an on-site full-court gym for the intramural basketball program that his company offers.
Ishbia recently told HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel for a profile, discussing his strategy with people:
This is not that complicated. Get the best people to join your team, just like in sports. Train them, coach them to be the best version of themselves, like Izzo used to do with us. And then treat them so well that they never want to leave.- Mat Ishbia
After an investigation revealed "workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies," the NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million in September.
The report's findings came nearly a year after the NBA asked a law firm to investigate allegations that Sarver had a history of racist, misogynistic, and hostile incidents during his nearly two-decade tenure as general manager.
Sarver then announced that he would be looking to sell the Suns and Mercury. Sarver purchased the Suns in 2004 for $401 million, an NBA record at the time and roughly ten times less than the price Ishbia agreed to pay.
Mat is the right leader to build on franchise legacies of winning and community support and shepherd the Suns and Mercury into the next era. As a former collegiate basketball player and national champion, Mat has exactly the right spirit, commitment and resources to pursue championships.- Sarver
Ishbia has previously been mentioned as a potential buyer of pro franchises, and he is a significant Michigan State donor. He contributed to the Spartans' $95 million contract extension with footballcoach Mel Tucker last year. He appeared in 48 games for Izzo as a walk-on guard in East Lansing.
Ishbia confirmed to the Associated Press in November that he is interested in purchasing the NFL's Washington Commanders after owners Dan and Tanya Snyder hired a firm to investigate potential transactions. It was unclear whether purchasing the Suns would remove him from the Commanders' process.
This is a dream come true for my entire family including my parents, my three children, and my brother Justin, who will be making a significant investment with me and bring his incredible business acumen and shared passion for basketball. I appreciate Robert Sarver’s time and support throughout the process. We are so honored to be, with approval by the NBA, the next stewards of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.- Mat Ishbia