Milwaukee Bucks Sold to Hedge-Fund Billionaires

Milwaukee Bucks Sold to Hedge-Fund Billionaires

Herb Kohl, former senator from Wisconsin, sold the Milwaukee Bucks team to two hedge-fund billionaires.

Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens bought the team for $550 million, $145 million more than what Forbes assessed the value of the Bucks. Forbes magazine valued the team at $405 million–dead last in the NBA. The team also ranks dead last in wins in the NBA this season.

Who are these two men? The buyers run in the same political circles as the seller.

Lasry retains connections to high-ranking Democrats other than Kohl. One of his closest friends is Bill Clinton and President Obama considered him as the US ambassador to France in 2013. He withdrew his nomination due to his position at Avenue Capital Group, which he founded in 1995, and “possible ties to a poker-ring scam.” Edens, a former partner at Lehman Brothers, has donated heavily to many of Kohl’s former colleagues, including Jon Corzine, Chuck Schumer, and Chris Dodd.

ESPN said Kohl might “retain some percentage of ownership in the Bucks, although he would give up majority ownership.” If the NBA approves the sale, it would be the first change in ownership since 1985 when the Wisconsin Democrat bought the team for $18 million. He almost sold the team to Michael Jordan in 2003.

One of the stipulations included not moving the team. Governor Scott Walker is happy the team will stay.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he was pleased the team will stay in the state, and that he will work with the new ownership team to see how he can help the team “flourish in the state.”

“I think it’s a big deal,” he told reporters when asked about the sale.