Report: Robert Sarver selected bank to oversee sale of Suns, Mercury

Oct 4, 2022, 4:00 PM

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns attends the NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Pho...

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns attends the NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Phoenix Suns Arena on February 08, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Suspended Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver has selected the investment bank Moelis and Company to oversee the sale of the franchises, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. Sportico was first to report the agreement.

The bank has been a financial adviser for the 2022 sale of Chelsea Football Club and most recently in the NBA world led the 2015 sale of the Atlanta Hawks.

Holmes added that Suns chief financial officer Jim Pitman told employees that he expected the Suns to take from six to nine months for the process to be completed, as the franchises are receiving plenty of interest.

An investment bank official told Holmes that the Suns will sell for “the highest price ever paid for an NBA team.”

Three teams have sold for more than $2 billion, with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai most recently purchasing the franchise for $2.35 billion.

Moelis and Company has already been speaking with Sarver about interested bidders, according to the report. Once Sarver picks a buyer, the NBA must approve of a sale after doing background checks. The league’s board of governors would then need a three-fourths majority to approve the sale.

Sarver was suspended a year and fined $10 million in September after an independent law firm found he used sexist and racist language with team employees — among other misconduct — while leading a toxic workplace environment.

He announced on Sept. 21 he was seeking buyers for both the Suns and Mercury. While he owns about a third of the ownership shares, as majority owner he has the power to sell the entirety of the team.

Vice chairman and minority owner Sam Garvin has stepped in to serve as the Suns’ interim governor during Sarver’s suspension.

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