Rodriguez, Lore take big step toward finalizing Timberwolves, Lynx deal

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Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have submitted signed financial documentation to the NBA to complete the acquisition of majority control of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx from Glen Taylor, multiple sources briefed on the matter told The Athletic.

Dyal Capital Partners has joined as an investor in the Lore-Rodriguez group, giving them the final financial backing necessary to complete the transaction, industry sources said.

The move is an important step for the group as they look to purchase their final 40 percent chunk of franchise equity, which would allow them to succeed Taylor as lead owners. Their ownership structure still must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors before they can assume full control of the franchises, though it was not immediately clear how long that process might take.

Lore and Rodriguez own 40 percent of the team, the result of two previous purchases of 20 percent equity from Taylor dating back to 2021. When the two friends initially agreed to the succession plan, it was laid out with the intention of a gradual move to controlling partners. The deal structure was appealing to Taylor, who was not yet ready to cede full control of the teams at the time, and to Lore and Rodriguez, who wanted time to learn the ins and outs of pro basketball and get their finances in order to complete the $1.5 billion purchase.

In December, Lore and Rodriguez exercised their option to purchase the final 40 percent of the deal. That opened a 90-day window for them to close on the purchase, giving them until March 27 to submit the documentation and commitment letters needed to make it official.

This step comes one day after it was reported that the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, had pulled its $300 million from the Lore-Rodriguez group. League sources told The Athletic that Carlyle was not able to agree to certain requirements the NBA makes of investors, so it was mutually agreed upon that Carlyle would withdraw.

“The NBA did not deny Carlyle’s proposed investment in the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx,” league spokesman Mike Bass told The Athletic.

When it became clear that Carlyle could not move forward with the group, Lore and Rodriguez quickly pivoted to new partners to amass the capital needed to move the process forward, aligning with Dyal Capital to round out their group.

Among those known to be in their ownership group is Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google.

The final steps of the process have played out during a remarkable season for the Timberwolves. They are 47-22 and in third place in the Western Conference, just one game behind Denver and Oklahoma City.

The revival has ushered in a new era of popularity for the Timberwolves in Minnesota. They have sold out every home game, an attendance increase of almost 10 percent from last season. Local television ratings have skyrocketed and Anthony Edwards has emerged as one of the brightest young stars in the league.

Lore and Rodriguez have been integral in the success, leading the recruitment of Tim Connelly, the Wolves’ president of basketball operations, away from Denver in May 2022. Lore and Rodriguez have held much higher influence within the organization than typical minority owners, with Taylor approving their input to help ease the transition, should that happen with league approval.

(Photo of Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore: David Berding /Getty Images)

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