Bloomberg joins Lore-Rodriguez group for in-dispute purchase of Timberwolves, AP source says

By Dave Campbell

AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media magnate and former New York City mayor, has agreed to partner with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez for their in-dispute attempt to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the transaction were not being made public. The news was first reported by The Athletic.

Bloomberg is currently ranked as the 12th-richest person in the world by Forbes on the business news outlet’s list of personal fortunes, with an estimated net worth of $106 billion. The 82-year-old served three terms as mayor of the country’s largest city from 2002-13. He built his wealth through the business and financial information and media company that took his last name.

Lore and Rodriguez agreed more than three years ago to buy the Timberwolves for $1.5 billion from Minnesota native and printing and agriculture mogul Glen Taylor, who halted the sale on March 28 because he said they missed the deadline to make the final payment.

Lore and Rodriguez have said they’ve got the cash to complete the deal and were delayed by the NBA in its approval of the transaction and were thus entitled to an extension. After mediation failed to resolve the conflict, the two sides are headed for an arbitration hearing in keeping with the terms of the contract.

The Lore-Rodriguez group currently owns 36% of the franchise, including the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. The final phase was supposed to transfer another 40% and make them controlling owners.

Lore and Rodriguez accused Taylor of having seller’s remorse because the value of the team has soared since the initial agreement, in keeping with rising NBA revenues.

Taylor acknowledged his change of heart last month but said that was because of the good vibes around the organization during a 56-26 season that went down as the second-best in franchise history. The Timberwolves wound up reaching the Western Conference finals, losing to Dallas in five games.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last month that the league likely would not have a reason to intervene in the dispute.

Taylor, who bought the team in 1994 for $88 million, set up the deal in phases so he could serve as a mentor to the newcomers as they learned the league, the organization and the Twin Cities community.


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