The ownership structure of the National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs got a little less complicated but a little more high-profile over the weekend after Sixth Street Partners and Michael Dell agreed to buy a stake in the team.
As part of the deal, announced June 19, Peter J. Holt, son of Peter M. Holt, who invested in the Spurs in the mid-1990s, will become managing partner of the team. The Holt family will remain the largest shareholders in the team, while Peter and his sister, Corinna Holt Richter, will continue to represent the family on the organization’s board of managers.
“We thank the Holts and the NBA for welcoming us as partners, and we look forward to joining Michael Dell in supporting Peter’s vision for the future of the Spurs in San Antonio,” Sixth Street’s Alan Waxman said in a statement.
The transaction included 13 individual parties, according to the press release.
The entrance of Dell and Sixth Street marks the latest example of the financial and tech sectors colliding with the wide world of sports.
In April, Jet.com co-founder Marc Lore and former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez struck a deal to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves from former Minnesota state senator Glen Taylor. The billionaire purchased the NBA team in 1994 for a reported $88 million.
In October, Ryan Smith, co-founder of Provo, Utah-based Qualtrics Inc. (spun out by SAP SE (SAP) earlier this year), acquired a majority interest in the NBA’s Utah Jazz and other sports and properties at a valuation of $1.66 billion from the Miller family. The Millers, who own auto dealerships in Utah, acquired the team in 1986 for $22 million.
In September, hedge fund manager Steve Cohen acquired control of MLB’s New York Mets, and in November 2019, Silver Lake Partners LP agreed to inject $500 million into the owner of English soccer champions Manchester City Football Club Ltd. in return for a 10% stake.
Peter M. Holt, who led the largest Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) dealership in the country, acquired an initial 13% stake in the Spurs in June 1996 from insurer USAA and quickly became the team’s largest shareholder a few months later with the purchase of a nearly 20% stake from Oklahoma City-based Gaylord Properties Inc.
The Holts’ Spurs Sports and Entertainment also owns the Austin Spurs of the NBA G League and soccer team San Antonio FC.
On June 22, the San Antonio Spurs were awarded the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft after finishing 10th in the Western Conference and losing a play-in game to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs have won five championships since the Holts took ownership (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014).
The deal with Dell and Sixth Street is expected to close this week following approval from the NBA’s board of governors.
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