Oregon billionaire, Phoenix Suns co-owner among new Portland Thorns investors

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Following the $63 million sale of the Portland Thorns, the owners have welcomed investors expected to bring fresh “expertise and capacity” to the football club.

Lisa Bhathal Merage and Alex Bhathal of RAJ Sports — who act as governor and alternate governor of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Portland team — announced five investors on Thursday morning.

Portland State’s food carts will remain open due to support from city

Phoenix Suns co-owner Sam Garvin and equity firm TPG Co-Managing Partner Nehal Raj were named, along with real estate investment firm Landspire Group’s Chief Executive Officer Josh Childress.

Childress formerly played for the NBA and now co-owns a professional basketball team in Australia.

An Oregon billionaire featured on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, Columbia Sportswear Chief Executive Officer Tim Boyle, will also invest in the Thorns.

Portland Thorns’ Christine Sinclair gets one-of-a-kind Barbie doll

“In the little over a decade since the Portland Thorns FC began to compete as an inaugural member of the NWSL, the Thorns have been reflective of Portland and enhanced its reputation as the home of strong, ‘tough’ women, as Gert ‘One Tough Mother’ Boyle would say,” Boyle said in a statement.

Kunal Merchant was named an investor as well. He serves as the chief operating officer and partner of Revitate, an investment company founded by the Thorns’ owners.

“Investor interest in the Thorns is off the charts,” Merchant, who helped find the team’s other investors, said. “We are gratified and inspired to see so much belief in the future of the Thorns and in women’s sports more broadly.”

Oregon agency’s 2023 report outlines state’s efforts to expand housing

Merage and Bhathal were introduced as the organization’s new leadership in January. They purchased the team for $63 million, which was reported as the highest sale in NWSL history before the San Diego Wave was acquired for $113 million.

Former owner Meritt Paulson stepped down as Thorns and Timbers CEO after being involved in an alleged misconduct scandal.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to