Private Equity Duo Buy Basketball Team

Jul 14 2011 | 12:15pm ET

Executives from Apollo Global Management and the Blackstone Group are among the new owners of basketball's Philadelphia 76ers.

A group led by Apollo co-founder Joshua Harris and including Blackstone's David Blitzer finalized their deal to buy the team from Comcast-Spectacor last night, Comcast said in a statement. Neither Apollo nor Blackstone were involved in the deal, which is still subject to approval by the National Basketball Association's board of governors.

Terms of the deal, which does not include the Wells Fargo Center, where the team plays, were not disclosed, but Harris' group is reportedly paying about $280 million for the team.

"As a basketball fan who attended college in Philadelphia, and with family roots here, I have always felt a strong connection to this city and the 76ers," New York-based Harris said. "We look forward to helping the 76ers organization build on this past season's accomplishments."

Harris and Blitzer both attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Harris and Blitzer join alternative investments 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


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