Mat Ishbia Officially Becomes Suns’ Owner

FEBRUARY 7: Ishbia has officially completed the purchase of a majority stake in the Suns, the team announced today in a press release.

“This is the culmination of a lifelong dream. I love the game of basketball deeply but it’s so much more than that for me,” he said in a statement. “Throughout my life, basketball has given me a second family, an education, and so much joy. I am honored to be the next steward of this community’s franchises in the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury and am totally committed to building an incredible organization on and off the floor.”

Ishbia and his group paid $2.28 billion for a 57% stake in the team, sources tell Baxter Holmes of ESPN. That’s the equivalent of a $4 billion valuation. Sarver received $1.48 billion for his 37% stake in the club, Holmes adds.

FEBRUARY 6: Mat Ishbia has been approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors as the Suns’ new owner, according to a league press release. The transaction is expected to close this week.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets, the vote was 29-0 with the Cavaliers abstaining. Dan Gilbert, Cleveland’s owner, is also the majority owner of Rocket Mortgage. Ishbia is the chairman and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, which – like Rocket Mortgage – is based in Michigan.

Mat Ishbia and his brother Justin agreed to buy the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from Robert Sarver at a valuation of approximately $4 billion. Sarver, who was suspended by the league for a year and fined $10MM for behavior that “clearly violated common workplace standards,” subsequently decided to sell his controlling stake in the franchise.

Ishbia reached an agreement with Sarver in December.

Typically, it takes at least a couple months for the NBA to officially approve and complete the sale of a franchise because the process involves extensive criminal, financial, and background checks on prospective buyers, who also have to meet with the NBA’s advisory and finance committees.

Ishbia is reportedly eager for the Suns to seek upgrades prior to Thursday’s deadline and his impact may have already been felt, as Phoenix pursued a trade for Kyrie Irving.

Ishbia’s agreement to buy the Suns will give him control of more than 50% of the franchise, as he and his group are also buying out some of the minority shareholders.

View Comments (8)