After two consecutive trips to the playoffs and a return to respectability in the Western Conference, Michael Heisley has at last found a buyer to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies, confirming an earlier ESPN.com report, announced Monday that Heisley has entered into a sale agreement with Robert J. Pera, founder and CEO of the Ubiquiti Networks and who, at 34, earned a spot on Forbes’ list of the 10 youngest billionaires in the world.
The purchase price is in the $350 million range, sources said Monday. NBA Board of Governors approval is required before Pera can be officially installed as successor to Heisley, who recently turned 75, but sources briefed on the negotiations told ESPN.com that Heisley received an eight-figure deposit from Pera on Monday to start that process.
“I think he’ll be a good owner,” Heisley told FoxSports.com. “He’s young. He’s in his 30s. I think he loves basketball. And I think he’s financially very well off. I think he’ll be an excellent owner, but that’s a job for the NBA to decide.”
Heisley estimates that approval for transferring control to Pera will be “at least a 30-to-60-day process.” And in a subsequent interview with NBA.com, Heisley expressed confidence that Pera’s ownership will be sanctioned by league officials.