The Memphis Grizzlies could begin next season under new ownership, as the “Memphis Commercial Appeal” reported Monday afternoon that Team Owner Michael Heisley is currently negotiating to sell the team to the founder and owner of a communications network. According to the report, Heisley is trying to complete a deal with 34-year-old Robert Pera, owner of communications technology company Ubiquity Networks, for a reported price of $350 million. Pera’s net-worth is said to be close to one billion dollars.
Heisley, confirmed that he is in discussions with Pera to the paper, however he emphasized that nothing is on paper as of this point. The Grizzlies Owner said “We have had conversations with Pera but we don’t have a contract at this point. We’ve been down this road before so I’m not going to talk about a deal that isn’t done.”
According to the paper’s sources, Pera has until Tuesday morning to put a financial deposit down, or the deal would fall apart. Heisley had a similar experience back in 2006, with another potential ownership group, however that deal fell apart at the eleventh hour. One of the conditions of the sale of the franchise, is that Pera would keep the team in Memphis. Heisley rejected other potential suitors for the club over the years, due to the fact that they wanted to move the club.
Pera, is a native of San Carlos, California, which is on the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. He overcame a heart-valve infection as a teen, which caused him to miss a year of high school and eventually became an engineer for Apple. In 2005, he scraped together the funds to start Ubiquity Networks, a venture that proved to be quite profitable for the young entrepreneur.
If Heisley and Pera complete the deal, it would then have to be approved by the Association’s Board Of Governors.