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Minnesota Timberwolves sale to A-Rod and Marc Lore falls apart


Co-owners Alex Rodriguez, right, and Marc Lore of the Minnesota Timberwolves during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Dec. 30, 2023.

David Berding | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

The National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Lynx are no longer for sale after a deal with former baseball great Alex Rodriguez and businessman Marc Lore fell apart, the teams’ owner Glen Taylor said Thursday.

Rodriguez and Lore’s ownership group had until Wednesday to close on the deal and failed to come up with the needed financing. The partners own 40% of the Timberwolves and were in the process of acquiring an additional 40% to have a majority stake.

“I will continue to work with Marc, Alex and the rest of the ownership group to ensure our teams have the necessary resources to compete at the highest levels on and off the court,” Taylor said in a statement. “The Timberwolves and Lynx are no longer for sale.”

In a statement to CNBC, Lore and Rodriguez said they are disappointed with Taylor’s comments.

“We have fulfilled our obligations, have necessary funding and are fully committed to closing our purchase of the team as soon as the NBA completes its approval process. Glen Taylor’s statement is an unfortunate case of seller’s remorse that is short sighted and disruptive to the team and the fans during a historic winning season,” the statement said.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, the closing was required to occur by Wednesday, which would have included a last payment of $600 million.

“Under certain circumstances, the buyer could have been entitled to a limited extension. However, those circumstances did not occur,” Taylor’s statement said.

Rodriguez and Lore struck a deal with private equity firm the Carlyle Group to help with financing, but that agreement fell apart earlier this month, Axios previously reported.

Rodriguez and Lore had reached an agreement with Taylor in May 2021 to purchase the Timberwolves and Lynx for $1.5 billion through a multipart transaction that would take place in installments.

Some reports suggest that the relationship among Taylor, Lore and Rodriguez became strained since the original deal was made.

The Timberwolves are the 28th most valuable NBA franchise, worth $2.94 billion, according to Sportico. With the increase in the team’s valuation in recent years, it is understandable why Taylor may have had second thoughts about selling the team.

The Timberwolves are currently in second place in the Western Conference and are having one of their best seasons in franchise history. Taylor purchased the team in 1994 for a reported $94 million. Under his ownership, the Timberwolves have never won an NBA Championship.

The NBA did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

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