Pera Seeking Local Partners In Bid For Grizzlies

Prospective Grizzlies owner Robert Pera is looking for Memphis-area buyers to add as co-owners as he seeks approval to buy the team from a group headed by Michael Heisley, report Ronald Tillery and Kyle Veazey of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Pera is seeking partners not out of financial need but because he senses area business leaders would prefer local ownership, Tillery and Veazey hear.

Pera wrote in his blog about a recent meeting with current minority owner J.R. "Pitt" Hyde, and has visited with others in the Memphis business community. In June, Pera agreed to buy the Grizzlies for $335MM, and while a report last month suggested a rapid decline in Pera's net worth put his bid for the team in danger, Heisley said soon afterward that he has no reason to believe Pera won't be able to meet his asking price.

The deal remains subject to league approval. Commissioner David Stern said last week the league's vetting process of Pera is proceeding on schedule and that he hopes the league will be able to make the sale official in the next couple of months.

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