The Haslam Sports Group is expanding its empire into the NBA as they have reportedly reached an agreement to purchase a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks.
That is according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, who Tweeted on Monday morning that Marc Lasry, a co-owner of the Bucks, has a deal in place to sell his 25 percent portion of the team to the group headed by Jimmy and Dee Haslam.
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry has reached an agreement to sell his portion of the Bucks to Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam for a $3.5 billion valuation, sources told ESPN.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 27, 2023
Lasry purchased his stake in the Bucks in 2014 for $550 million, so he picked up a tidy return on his investment as he has been part of an ownership group that has seen the Bucks move into a new arena and bring home an NBA Championship in 2021.
The Haslams, who have owned the Cleveland Browns since 2012, have not been as successful with their investment, at least on the field, but this is another lesson that the NFL is a license to print money if you are an owner as the Browns are worth an estimated $3.18 billion.
In addition to the Browns, Haslam Sports Group also owns Major Soccer League’s Columbus Crew, which was added to the portfolio in 2018.
"Lasry, according to Sportico, owns approximately 25% of the Bucks, which would give his share a value of $875 million. The original purchase of the Bucks was for $550 million, but long-time owner Herb Kohl donated $100M from his sale proceeds to a new arena as part of the deal." https://t.co/V6aEOfFJDw— Dan Shafer (@DanRShafer) February 27, 2023
The Bucks have a unique ownership situation as Lasry and Wes Edens are part of the ownership group that includes Jamie Dinan and Mike Fascatelli. As part of the agreement, Lasry and Edens take turns serving as the team’s main governor - another way of saying they are the lead owner and primary representative at NBA meetings - for five-year terms, according to sportico.com. Lasry is currently three-and-a-half years into his current term, so it will be interesting to see if Jimmy or Dee Haslam take on that role when the sale becomes official.
The deal to buy into the Bucks has been in the works for several months, according to The Athletic, with Jimmy Haslam attending multiple games, including being courtside for Milwaukee’s game on Sunday.
There has been no official comment from the Browns or Haslam Sports Group as of Monday morning as the deal is still pending league approval.