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A-Rod, Marc Lore Tap Dyal to Finance Sale of Timberwolves

Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have partnered with private equity firm Dyal Capital to complete a payment needed to become controlling owners of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. The capital injection from the newest limited partner comes a week before the payment deadline that would give Lore and Rodriguez controlling interest in the team in the ongoing multipart deal.

The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Lore and Rodriguez were forced to pivot to a different financier after talks between private equity giant Carlyle Group and the NBA to provide financing to the incoming ownership broke down. With the additional 40% stake from this latest payment, the duo will own 80% of the Timberwolves, pending approval from the league’s Board of Governors.

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Existing partners within the incoming ownership, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, increased their initial investment to complete the deal, according to a source.

Dyal parent company Blue Owl Capital and the Timberwolves declined to comment. A representative of Lore and Rodriguez also declined to comment, while the league didn’t immediately respond to comment.

Timberwolves current majority owner Glen Taylor spoke about issues surrounding the latest funding round earlier this week. But Lore and Rodriguez have managed to continue with the deal despite his reservations throughout the process, which began in 2021 when Taylor first agreed to sell the team at about a $1.5 billion valuation.

Meanwhile Dyal adds to its portfolio with its fourth NBA team, fueling its initiative to deploy its growing amount of capital to buy minority stakes in franchises. The asset manager also has interest in the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets. Dyal previously had a stake in the Phoenix Suns but exited when Mat Ishbia purchased the team for a record $4 billion last year.

Unlike other PE firms approved to buy into NBA teams, Dyal can take partial stakes in an unlimited number of franchises, although it has to share part of its earnings from its fund with the NBA in return.

It’s unclear what percentage of the team Dyal will own in the latest transaction. The Timberwolves (47-22), who are having one of their best seasons in years, were last valued at $2.8 billion, according to Sportico’s latest valuations.

(With assistance from Eben Novy-Williams.)

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