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Phoenix Suns valued at “US$1.55bn” as Dyal makes first NBA investment

US private equity firm reportedly purchases less than five per cent stake in basketball team.

7 July 2021 Sam Carp
  • As many as ten existing investors have sold some of their stake in the Suns, according to Bloomberg
  • Majority owner Robert Sarver reportedly not among those selling shares
  • Investment is Dyal’s first since striking deal with NBA last year to invest in multiple teams

US private equity firm Dyal HomeCourt Partners has acquired a minority stake in National Basketball Association (NBA) finalists the Phoenix Suns.

According to Bloomberg, Dyal HomeCourt has purchased less than five per cent of the team in a deal that values the franchise at some US$1.55 billion.

Bloomberg’s report added that ‘as many as ten’ existing shareholders are selling some of their stake in the Suns, although majority owner Robert Sarver is not one of them. 

Sarver purchased the Suns in 2004 for a reported US$400 million, meaning the value of the team has almost quadrupled based on the figures attached to Dyal HomeCourt’s investment. 

“The injection of institutional capital into the NBA will be a tremendous benefit to the league and its owners and the Suns are proud to be Dyal HomeCourt's first investment,” said Sarver. “We look forward to a fruitful relationship with the Dyal team moving forward.”

Dyal HomeCourt is managed by Dyal Capital Partners, which last year agreed a deal with the NBA to acquire minority stakes in the league’s 30 teams.

Dyal’s investment in the Suns marks its first deal for an NBA team. Last year it was reported that Dyal, which is a now a division of Blue Owl, a private investment firm with US$52.5 billion in assets, was seeking to raise US$2 billion to spend on NBA franchises. 

Under the NBA’s new ownership rules, private equity firms are permitted to own up to 20 per cent of a franchise and can invest in as many as five teams.

Dyal is the latest private equity company to buy a stake in an NBA team this year. The Golden State Warriors were valued at a reported US$5.5 billion in April when Arctos Sports Partners purchased approximately five per cent of the team, while last month saw Sixth Street invest in the San Antonio Spurs.

Dyal’s investment in the Suns was announced on the eve of the team’s first appearance in the NBA Finals since 1993. The Suns won game one of their best-of-seven series against the Milwaukee Bucks 118-105.

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