Robert Pera
Memphis Grizzlies majority owner Robert Pera and Grizzlies minority owner Justin Timberlake (Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal)

The sudden downward spiral of the Memphis Grizzlies is taking a brand new dive into chaos and the madness is centered around team owner Robert Pera. The majority owner of the team since 2012 is currently being forced into a ‘buy-sell clause’ which is going to force him into either selling his share of the team or buy the shares from the other minority owners.

On Sunday, Marc Gasol expressed his displeasure after being benched for the fourth quarter of a loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Monday afternoon, the Grizzlies fired head coach David Fizdale. Wednesday, the team general manager Chris Wallace announced they would not be trading away franchise stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Now on Thursday, news comes out that could change the future direction of the team.

Following comes from Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

A buy-sell provision in the ownership agreement between Pera and minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus was exercised last week, sources told The Athletic. Both minority owners had the right to invoke the clause starting in late October, which allows one or both of them to set a new valuation for the franchise that sold for $377 million in 2012.

Pera, who is being represented by CAA in the process, will have to decide whether to buy out Kaplan and/or Straus to keep control of the team or sell his shares at the set price and remove himself from the ownership group.

The clause in the agreement, which was first reported by ESPN, was born of Pera’s tenuous acquisition of the team from previous owner Michael Heisley in 2012. During that process, the value of Pera’s technology company, Ubiquiti Networks, took a sharp plunge, forcing him to bring on Kaplan and Straus as partners with 13.5 percent equity and give a number of owners with Memphis ties, including Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake, smaller pieces of the pie to be able to close the deal.


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