Timberwolves Sale Delayed: Sale Of Wolves Held Up By Grizzlies’ Ownership Issues – Details

Updated: March 15, 2016
Timberwolves Sale Delayed: Sale Of Wolves Held Up By Grizzlies' Ownership Issues

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has tried a few times to unload the team he saved from moving to New Orleans once, and the latest attempt appears to be fizzling.

Steve Kaplan, who is a California venture capitalist that had planned to sell his Grizzlies stake to buy 30 percent of the Wolves with a path to eventually take over as controlling owner. But a dispute between Kaplan and Grizzlies owner Robert Pera over shares in the team led to a behind-the-scenes battle that took months to resolve.

It was recently settled after Kaplan threatened to initiate an arbitration procedure.

The resulting delay has put Kaplan’s deal with Wolves owner Glen Taylor in jeopardy. Kaplan and an investor went to Minneapolis earlier this month to meet with Taylor to help salvage the process.

Pera has been distant from Memphis over the last year, and has excluded minority owners from any meaningful participation in team decision-making, which is his right as controlling owner.

Kaplan has been asking for close to $100 million for his 14 percent share — pegging the team’s value at roughly $700 million.

The situation could drag on until October of 2017 as Kaplan and Pera have a deal in which he has the option to make a bid for controlling interest in the team at a price of their choosing. At that point Pera would have two options: buy out Kaplan and Straus at that named price, or sell his shares to them based on the same valuation.

The so-called “buy-sell” clause is merely an option, and it is unclear if Kaplan or Daniel Straus would ever actually trigger it.