The decision to sell Atlanta Hawks may have come unexpected, however, it was one of the bold decisions Bruce Levenson has made. In September 2014, Levenson gave a clue that he was planning to sell his controlling interest in Hawks team. In January, the other partners who own the team along with Levenson also agreed that they would sell 100 percent of their ownership in the team.
Bruce Levenson enlisted the Inner Circle Sports along with Goldman Sachs to help in selling the team. Recently, it was announced that the team was sold at $850 million; a price that was more than what had been bided as the initial offer. The team led by Ressler had bided to buy Hawks at a price of $730, but it ended up buying it at a higher price, which is 27 percent more.
Bruce Levenson previously co-owned a company known as Atlanta Hawks LLC. This is the company that operates as well as runs Atlanta Hawks basketball team and the Philips Arena. The auction deal to buy Hawks went to Tony Ressler and his team.
Ressler is an entrepreneur and co-owner of a company known as Ares Management LP. Ressler agreed to purchase the NBA team at $850 million, sources said. The financing of the deal would be done by paying cash amount and taking up debts, which the Hawks team has accrued.
In the new ownership, there are other members forming the partnership and they include Steven Koonin, who is the CEO of Hawks, and the coach of the team, Mike Budenholdzer. Hawks sale deal had attracted a number of specialists and experts who predicted the price it would sell at.
Andrew Zimbalist was the closest to predict the price. Zimbalist is a sports economist at Smith College, and he predicted that Hawks would go for about $700 and $750 million. The deal was successful considering that the team sold at a higher price than what Ressler’s team has initially offered in their bid.
In Ressler’s team, there were other members who included Grant Hill, a previous basketball player and Rick Schnall. In recent times, the value of NBA franchises shot up after the teams started landing lucrative deals with TV broadcasters. In a previous estimation of the value of Hawks, Forbes had said that it was worth $450 million.
However, the increasing value of NBA franchises changed that scenario something that saw the Hawks sell at a higher price. Ressler was also in a group that purchased Milwaukee Brewers sometimes back in 2005 spearheaded by Mark Attanasio. Levenson had hired Ferry to be the general manager of Hawks.
Ferry was also the man in charge of operations of the team. Ferry was a player with a team called Cavaliers and once served as general manager for the same team. Prior to taking leadership of Hawks, Ferry held the position of vice president for San Antonio Spurs where he was in charge of operations. The sale of Atlanta Hawks might have come at the right time considering that deals involving NBA has increased substantially in price in the recent times.