Alex Rodriguez may be buying a sports team after all, just not in the sport everyone expected.
The former New York Yankees star and former Walmart president and CEO Marc Lore have signed a letter of intent and are negotiating with Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to buy the NBA team, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. The deal also includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, per Christopher Hine of the Star Tribune.
The pair reportedly have a 30-day exclusive negotiating window, and will take control of the team in two-and-a-half years if a deal is finalized.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN also reported that the deal was being finalized, and tweeted a statement from the prospective owners:
Taylor was reported last summer to be looking into selling the team after nearly three decades of majority ownership.
Krawczynski reports that Rodriguez and Lore have already agreed with Taylor on a $1.5 billion valuation of the teams, and will now try to hammer out the rest of a deal. If an agreement is reached, the pair would have to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
Per Hine, Taylor said Rodriguez and Lore pledged to keep the team in Minnesota, and will include language in the deal to prevent a move for the team.
Rodriguez missed out on buying Mets
Rodriguez’s bid for Timberwolves ownership comes shortly after his failed attempt to buy the New York Mets alongside ex-fiancee Jennifer Lopez. Lore was among the other partners in the bid, alongside a reported plethora of athletes including Travis Kelce, Brian Urlacher, DeMarco Murray, Joe Thomas, Bradley Beal and Mason Plumlee.
The MLB team instead went to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, who was already a minority owner of the team.
The ordeal was an extended saga, with Rodriguez and Lopez’s first bid sputtering out when it became clear their partner, billionaire Wayne Rothbaum, only wanted the team if it was heavily discounted (final price: $2.4 billion). The pair then found new partners and were reportedly preferred by the Wilpon family selling the team, but just couldn’t overcome Cohen’s financial muscle.
Rodriguez and Lopez have since been reported to have split up, which they denied. It is unclear if Lopez is involved in the Timberwolves bid.
Who is Marc Lore, Alex Rodriguez’s business partner?
While Rodriguez made over $400 million in his career, Lore is likely the partner providing the majority of the money in the Timberwolves bid.
The New York native stepped down from his position running Walmart in January. Before his time with the retail giant, Lore was an entrepreneur who co-founded businesses including Jet.com (sold to Walmart for $3 billion) and Diapers.com (sold to Amazon for $545 million).
Krawczynski reports that Lore and Rodriguez have been business partners for years through their company, VCP, and they recently took public electric aircraft start-up Archer Aviation.
Lore told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year that he hoped to buy a sports team, and the Timberwolves may have been the most attractive option on the market.
Kevin Garnett tried to buy Timberwolves
Rodriguez isn’t the first athlete to attempt to buy the Timberwolves from Taylor. T-wolves legend Kevin Garnett publicly signaled his interest in purchasing the team as soon as it was reported to be available.
Garnett, who has a contentious history with Taylor, announced that bid had failed in March. He had some choice words for the billionaire.
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