The owner of Milwaukee Bucks team, Herb Kohl, has announced the sale of his team on Wednesday in a press conference at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Herb Kohl is a former US Senator who bought the Bucks team way back in 1985 for $18 million. He remained the owner of the NBA team for 29 years. But now he is selling his team.
"My priority has always been and will continue to be keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee," said Kohl. "This announcement reinforces that Milwaukee is and will continue to be the home of the Bucks. Wes and Marc agree, and they share my commitment to the long-term success of this franchise in Milwaukee."
Kohl has agreed to sell off the Milwaukee Bucks club to two New York hedge-fund billionaires, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, for $550 million/398 million Euros. The sale amount announced by Bucks owner has surprised many. This is because Forbes magazine had valued Bucks at $405 million in January. And the Milwaukee Bucks were the least-valued team in the National Basketball Association.
Herb Kohl has entered into a signed purchase agreement to transfer ownership of the Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 16, 2014
"Today's announcement signals the start of a new, exciting era for the Milwaukee Bucks," said Kohl. "Now, with a long-term commitment from the new owners and major components of the funding in place for a new arena, we need to come together as a community to develop plans for a new sports and entertainment facility that will host more than 200 events a year, including Bucks games. I am confident we will do this."
Messrs. Edens and Lasry jointly stated: "We would like to thank Senator Kohl and his team for their support and cooperation throughout the purchase process. The Senator has provided the Bucks with nearly 30 years of dedicated stewardship, and we are very excited to join Bucks fans, the city of Milwaukee and the NBA to build the long-term success of this franchise. Having attended various sporting events in Milwaukee and Green Bay over the years, it is easy to see why the greater-Milwaukee area is such a storied sports atmosphere.
"We are lifelong basketball fans who are committed to the success of the Bucks and the identity of the team as a part of the city of Milwaukee. It is our vision for this franchise to be admired both locally and nationally for its success on the court, the quality of its organization and the loyalty of its fan base. Having each built competitive teams in the business world, we will apply that same intensity and determination as owners of the Milwaukee Bucks. We are as passionate and energized as Bucks fans are about bringing home an NBA championship to Milwaukee."
Marc Lasry: We have a strong desire to succeed. pic.twitter.com/ytHBv9WHOF— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 16, 2014
Bucks owner Kohl also announced to gift $100 million for the development of a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks team. And Kohl also asked the new owners to keep his team in Milwaukee. So in honor to his requirement, both the new owners have also committed to pledge at least an additional $100 million towards the development of a new arena in the city.
"This announcement provided new momentum for the project," Marotta said. "This is a huge, huge commitment for our city and the state of Wisconsin. It will present opportunities obviously for the future ... and it will help our community for years and years and decades to come."
Source: NBA Bucks