The Memphis Grizzlies are on the verge of being sold to Robert Pera for over $300 million.
The news comes from ESPN's Marc Stein:
Going up online as we speak: Sources tell ESPN that Michael Heisley has found buyer for Grizzlies: Communications tech magnate Robert Pera— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 11, 2012
Pera, a 34-year-old computer engineer from San Jose, owns 64 percent of the Ubiquiti Networks, a company he started when he was just 25. According to Forbes, the reported buyer of the Grizzlies was recently worth $1.5 billion (currently worth $980 million) and was a top 10 youngest billionaire.
So, yes, he can afford the reported price of about $350 million.
Grizzlies fans will surely panic after seeing the words "sold to a San Jose native," especially after talks in March of Larry Ellison buying the team and moving it to California (via NBC Bay Area's Sajid Farooq).
But feel free to rest easy, Memphis fans (via ESPN): "Sources say that Pera intends to keep the team in Memphis. The Grizzlies' lease at the FedExForum, furthermore, ties the team to the city until the year 2021, with steep financial penalties attached to breaking that lease."
Additionally, Heisley said back in March that he wouldn't consider selling the team to Ellison because he wouldn't let the team move. With this sale, it appears he was telling the truth and the team is safe in Memphis.
With the pain of losing a professional team so potentially heartbreaking, this looks to be a great day for sports and for Memphis, assuming the report is true and Pera has no intention of moving the team.
Not only does this appear to be a good sale from the perspective of Grizzlies fans, this is a good buy for Pera.
Led by Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies are a solid young playoff team that will continue to get better.
This is a deal that looks to be a "win" for everyone involved.