Report: Apollo's Harris To Buy Basketball Team

Jun 7 2011 | 12:59pm ET

Yet another group of alternative investment titans may be on the verge of becoming captains of the playing field.

A group led by Apollo Global Management co-founder Joshua Harris is in serious talks to acquire the National Basketball Association's Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN reports. A deal between Harris' group and current owners Comcast-Spectacor is "imminent," a source said.

The Sixers, who were not previously thought to be for sale, would not confirm ESPN's story, only saying that "discussions about the future of the team" are ongoing—and confidential.

Joining Harris in the bid to buy the Sixers is the Blackstone Group's David Blitzer and former NBA agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien. Both Harris and Blitzer attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

If the deal goes through, Harris and Blitzer will join peers Jeffrey Vinik, Thomas DiBenedetto, James Pallotta and Tom Gores as new owners of sports teams this year. Vinik, who last year bought hockey's Tampa Bay Lightning, this year added arena football team the Tampa Bay Storm to his holdings. DiBenedetto and Pallotta led a group that purchased Italian soccer team AS Roma, and Platinum Equity's Tom Gores in April struck a deal to buy the NBA's Detroit Pistons.

In addition, Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn is currently in advanced talks to buy a minority stake in the New York Mets, a deal which is currently being scrutinized by Major League Baseball.


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