Mar 19, 2024 - Business

Scoop: A-Rod's financing deal for T-Wolves falls apart

Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images.

The National Basketball Association rejected a deal involving private equity firm Carlyle that would have helped finance a purchase of the Minnesota Timberwolves by Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: A-Rod and Lore must fund their purchase by month's end.

Behind the scenes: Carlyle agreed to invest via a structured financing at around a $2.3 billion valuation.

  • But that deal was contingent on approval by the NBA, which has begun allowing private equity firms to buy very small stakes in franchises like the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
  • The two sides reached a stalemate in negotiations around two weeks ago, with a source saying something else in the firm's vast portfolio ran afoul of its institutional ownership rules.
  • Axios first reported on Carlyle's potential involvement last November. The firm declined comment when contacted today, while spokespeople for Marc Lore haven't yet responded to Axios' inquiries.

Backstory: A-Rod and Lore agreed to buy the T-Wolves and WNBA club the Minnesota Lynx in 2021, via a multi-part transaction.

  • It included an initial 20% ownership stake, with an option to buy another 40% that the pair exercised at the end of 2023. The money comes due this month.
  • The remaining 20% stake would be held by current majority owner Glen Taylor, although Rodriguez and Lore have a future option to buy that piece too.
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