Scoop: A-Rod and Marc Lore talking to Carlyle about T-Wolves financing
Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are working toward a deal whereby private equity giant Carlyle Group would invest in their purchase of the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA franchise and Minnesota Lynx WNBA franchise, Axios has learned from several sources.
Why it matters: This would settle down widespread speculation that the pair's financing might not come together, and reflects the ever-climbing values of pro sports clubs.
Details: A-Rod and Lore agreed to buy the basketball clubs in mid-2021, via a tranched-out purchase at a $1.5 billion valuation. This included an initial 20% stake, which has now grown to 40%.
- The pair have an option to add another 40%, which they must exercise by year-end and fund by next March. That's the piece Carlyle is expected to help with, although discussions remain ongoing with other investors that might take small pieces.
- Carlyle's tentative investment would come at around a $2.3 billion valuation. Part of that premium is just tied to NBA price inflation since A-Rod and Lore signed their original deal — based on sales of clubs in Phoenix and Charlotte — but it's also because the T-Wolves have become a much better on-court product, which has translated into significantly higher attendance and TV ratings.
Look ahead: The remaining 20% stake would be held by current majority owner Glen Taylor, but Rodriguez and Lore have a future option to buy that piece as well.