A Memphis newspaper is reporting that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is taking steps to extricate himself from an agreement to sell a majority stake in the team to Brian Davis and his investment group. In reality, Davis, a real estate developer and former Duke player, has made this bed by seemingly not coming up with the goods: $274 million. Not even close.
Davis’s group (which includes former NBA center and fellow Dukie Christian Laettner) has until January 15 to comply with the agreement and come up with the money, but Heisley’s “notice of termination” puts the group on notice. Essentialy, he’s saying, Deal or No Deal. They would have an additional 30 days to comply with the terms of the agreement or the deal is off.
At the crux if the issues, not surprisingly, is cash. Under terms required to become the team’s managing partner, as is his desire, Davis personally must put up 15% of the franchise value in cash, none of it borrowed. With the valuation set at $360 million hat would require Davis to pony up between $31-$36 million. He has reportedly put about $1 million in escrow, much of it he could lose if the deal falters, the paper reported.
A few weeks ago the NBA said Davis and his group had not provided the league with enough information in order for it to review his application for ownership. Now this. Yet another promising bid for minority ownership in sports is taking a slow, sad death.