WEDNESDAY, 8:20am: According to Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, the Forbes report suggesting another bidder is in play is not accurate, writes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
"There is no other deal on the table," Heisley said. "We’re working with Pera and we have no reason to believe he won’t perform."
TUESDAY, 2:24pm: If Pera's worth slips further and he's eventually forced to drop his bid for the Grizzlies, a second buyer is in position to step in, reports Mike Ozanian of Forbes. According to the Forbes report, a group of local businessmen has prepared an offer of "a little less than $350MM" for the franchise in case Pera's bid falls through.
MONDAY, 11:02am: Exactly a week ago, news broke that owner Michael Heisley had reached an agreement to sell the Grizzlies to communications technology magnate Robert Pera. Over the weekend, a report from the New York Daily News suggested Pera's bid for the Grizzlies could be in jeopardy due to his company's plummeting stock, but Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal says that's not the case. According to Tillery, rumors of Pera's declining worth are exaggerated, and his bid isn't in danger.
While Mitch Lawrence's initial report estimated that Pera is now worth $200MM, a figure well below the alleged $300MM+ price tag on the Grizzlies, Tillery hears that Pera's worth is still above $800MM and that he's still committed to joining the NBA. Pera's company, Ubiquiti Networks, has taken a hit on the market lately, but its stock is still strong enough that it's "inconceivable" that Pera's worth has fallen to $200MM, writes Tillery. The Daily News eventually reported the same $800MM figure, citing sources close to Pera, after Lawrence's first piece was published. The 34-year-old is alone in his bid and isn't expected to bring aboard partners to complete the deal.
Pera's purchase of the Grizzlies is far from finalized, however. The NBA is expected to take about six to eight weeks to determine the viability of the bid, and the league's Board of Governors will have to approve the agreement, which will likely happen at some point this summer. Since last week's announcement, Pera hasn't spoken publicly about the agreement, creating some uncertainty about what his plans are for the franchise, assuming the sale goes through.