Lasry initially paid a reported $550 million for the Bucks in 2014. The $3.5 billion mark would be the second-highest just behind the sale of the Suns earlier this month.
Marc Lasry is reportedly selling his stake in the Milwaukee Bucks to Jimmy and Dee Haslam valued at $3.5 billion, making it the second-highest valuation for an NBA team when the sale is approved by the league. The Haslams, who collectively have a net worth of $12 billion, also own the Cleveland Browns and the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.
The sale is still pending league approval, but if/when it goes through, it would become the second recent sale of an NBA team after Mat Ishbia bought the Phoenix Suns for $4 billion earlier this month. Ishbia’s purchase of the Suns is the highest-ever in NBA history and second-highest in US professional sports history after the Broncos sold for $4.65 billion last June.
Lasry, along with hedge fund billionaire Wesley Edens, paid a reported $550 million for the Bucks in 2014. If the sale goes through, that’d mark a 600% return on investment from when Lasry and Edens bought nine years back.
The price comes as no surprise as sports team valuations continue to skyrocket. Before Ishbia bought the Suns, Joe Tsai set the record when he bought the Brooklyn Nets for $2.3 billion in 2019, passing the $2.2 billion Tilman Fertitta spent to buy the Rockets in 2017 and Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion investment to buy the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Suns were valued at $2.7 billion by Forbes and exceeded that number by roughly $1.3 billion. The valuation is now a mere lowball, with the Bucks’ valuation in 2022 sitting at $2.3 billion — exceeding that figure by $1.7 billion.
Lasry and Edens led the charge in building Fiserv Forum in 2018 along with Deer District in downtown Milwaukee. All said, the two might be selling their stake in the team, but they’re reportedly looking to stick around in the real estate market in the same area.
Furthermore, ESPN reported that Lasry is “in discussions to create a sports investment fund inside his existing investment first, Avenue Capital,” which includes an early investment in his Major League Pickleball team. This would segue into buying into more teams, leagues, media, real estate, and more.
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