Qatar & Abu Dhabi Are Interested In Buying NBA Teams
Qatar & Abu Dhabi Wants To Buy NBA Teams
Two of the world’s richest sovereign wealth funds are interested in buying minority stakes in National Basketball Association teams, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest example of how oil money from the Persian Gulf is pumping up values in global sports.
Executives at Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. and Qatar Investment Authority have expressed their interest in NBA ownership and are actively hunting for a possible match, said the people, who requested anonymity as the discussions are private.
Representatives for Mubadala and QIA declined to comment.
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Mubadala and QIA’s interest is preliminary and there is no certainty that either will buy a stake in an NBA team, the people said.
The NBA is among the world’s most profitable leagues, and the value of its franchises has soared in recent years. In the most recent sale, billionaire Mat Ishbia agreed last year to buy more than 50% in the Phoenix Suns in a record deal that valued the club at $4 billion.
The prospect of NBA ownership became possible late last year after the league’s Board of Governors approved a rule change to allow sovereign wealth funds to buy as much as a 20% stake in teams. Previously, such funds could only do so through indirect exposure.
“The NBA Board of Governors recently decided to allow direct, passive investments in NBA teams by institutional investors,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “All such investments are subject to league review and NBA Board approval.”
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