Sources: Harris group eyes Devils, other entities

Sources: Harris group eyes Devils, other entities

August 7, 2013, 8:15 pm
Share This Post

Sixers majority owner Joshua Harris and his investment group are considering the purchase of another professional sports franchise.

On Wednesday, Fox 29’s Howard Eskin tweeted:

“‪#sixers owners hve more going than finding HC. Highly placed sources tell me Owner Josh Harris and his group bidding on ‪#NJ Devils purchase”

Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed Eskin’s report, but they also indicated that Harris’s group has considered purchasing one of at least three different sports-related entities. The Devils are among those potential investments. Harris’s group, which includes former Sixers CEO Adam Aaron, is believed to be relatively small, but the acquisition team working on its behalf is at least 12 people deep.

According to Forbes, Harris is worth $2.1 billion. In 2011, he and the current Sixers ownership group bought the team for a reported $287 million. As of January 2013, Forbes valued the Sixers at $418 million.

In January 2012, the Devils were reportedly worth $205 million, but the actual value of the franchise remains hazy. Owner Jeff Vanderbeek is believed to be $230 million in debt because of his stake in the team and the Prudential Center, where the Devils play. According to Forbes, the Prudential Center alone could be “sold for under $200 million.” The Sixers play at the Wells Fargo Center, which is owned by Comcast-Spectacor.

Along with Harris, the new investment group is led primarily by David Blitzer. Blitzer, one of the Sixers’ owners, graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School of Business. Blitzer is a senior managing director and head of tactical opportunities for Blackstone, the world’s biggest private equity firm by assets.

According to Bloomberg, Blackstone reported $3.3 billion in revenue last year. Blitzer, who joined the firm in 1991 and started its European private-equity business in 2002, reportedly manages a $1.5 billion fund on behalf of Blackstone.

Blitzer’s Blackstone bio says he’s helped execute investments that include “Spirit Group, SULO, Allied Waste, Aspen Insurance Holdings, Houghton Mifflin, Universal Orlando, Centerplate, Cadillac Fairview, Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, Southern Cross, NHP, Orangina, and United Biscuits.”

More Team Talk

10h
17h
1d
1d