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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fenway Sports Group wants to buy an NBA team once it's done acquiring the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: FSG is pioneering a new sort of corporate sports ownership, buying up marquee franchises in different geographic markets.

  • FSG currently owns the The Boston Red Sox and a NASCAR team in the U.S., plus Liverpool F.C. in Europe. It also recently invested in Spring Hill Group, a content production firm co-founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter (both of whom have small stakes in FSG).

Behind the scenes: A source close to the FSG/Penguins negotiations says that the sale price will be around $875 million, and adds that FSG would have been interested in buying the Boston Bruins were the club to have been available. The sellers are financier Ron Burkle and Penguins legend Mario Lemieux.

  • FSG first signaled its interest in buying an arena-based team while trying to solicit investors last year for an unsuccessful SPAC deal.
  • It now wants to add an NBA team to its portfolio, with expectations that it will seek out a target in 2022.

By the numbers: The most recent NBA team sale was the Utah Jazz to Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith for $1.7 billion last year. The most recent NHL sale was the Arizona Coyotes for $300 million to real estate and media mogul Alex Meruelo.

  • FSG majority owner John Henry earlier this year sold an 11% stake to private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners at a $7.3 billion valuation.

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

4 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

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