Bruce Levenson is a business tycoon, a former Atlanta Hawks owner, and a philanthropist (read: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/undergrads-and-graduate-students-mastering-philanthropy-300038081.html). In 2004 Levenson bought the Hawks, Thrashers, and Philip Arena from Turner Broadcasting, a team of entrepreneurs who owned Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers, and Philips Arena at $250 million. Levenson and Ed Peskowitz were the principal shareholders of the Hawks and Philip Arena. Later on, in 2011, Levenson sold the Thrashers at $170 million.
In 2012 Bruce Levenson hired Danny Ferry, a former player at Cleveland Cavaliers as the general manager and president of basketball activities. However, in 2014, Hawks went on sale after receiving a letter from Bruce Levenson requesting them to sell the team and the arena. Levenson hired Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle to handle the bidding process. They ended up accepting Ressler’s proposal. Tony Ressler, Jesse Itzler the team’s consultant, Sara Blakely, Rice Partner, Steven Sarker and Clayton Dubilier, were mandated with the bidding task so as to ensure that the bidding process was smooth. Nevertheless, the NBA owners would have the final decision on the sale and transaction.
According to Goldman Sachs, selling Hawks and Philip’s Arena’s operating rights would amount to $1billion. Other statistics, however, indicated that Hawks and Philips Arena worth was ranging from $700 to $1.2 billion, reflecting the strength of the sport in the business world. Though the price was billed at over $1 billion by Goldman Sachs, Tony Ressler ended up buying the franchise at $730 million.
Without a doubt, Bruce Levenson made an incredible profit with the sale bearing in mind that he had bought Hawks, Thrashers, and the Philips Arena at $250 million. Nevertheless, by exaggerating the price, the bankers for the Hawks may have discouraged other bidders, leaving better options on the table. Selling Hawks and Phillips Arena did not affect the players since they still won a franchise-record of sixty games and were rated the best players in the Eastern Conference.