From: Las Vegas
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES RETAIN RAINE TO EXPLORE SALE OF NBA FRANCHISE
The Minnesota Timberwolves are for sale.
Billionaire owner Glen Taylor has retained The Raine Group to sell the franchise he’s owned since 1995, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter. There are several parties who have bid on the team, two of the people said. A deal could be completed within a month, one of the people said.
Taylor, who bought the team for about $88 million, didn’t want a public auction and instead opted to ask Raine to find a buyer without the usual fanfare that accompanies a franchise sale, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the matter is private. The sale isn’t related to financial hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the people said.
The 79-year-old Taylor, chairman of Mankato, Minnesota-based Taylor Corporation, has a net worth of about $3 billion.
Colin Neville, a partner at Raine, declined to comment. Timberwolves spokesmen didn’t immediately return emails or calls seeking comment on the sale.
Taylor is seeking at least $1.2 billion for the franchise that Forbes says is worth $1.38 billion, one of the people said.
The Timberwolves have made the playoffs just once in the past 15 seasons. They were averaging 15,066 fans a game at the Target Center before the regular season was halted, placing them last in the 30-team National Basketball Association.
Taylor is a former chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, which is comprised of one representative —usually the owner—from each club.
Raine has extensive experience in sports.
FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, tapped the firm to help raise capital for the World Cup. Raine last year brokered the $500 million deal.
Last year, Raine orchestrated Silver Lake’s $500 million investment into the parent of English Premier League team Manchester City.