The Meruelo Group, led by founder Alex Meruelo, and Atlanta Spirit LLC have reached an agreement on the sale of a majority ownership stake in the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and the Philips Arena operating rights. Completion of the sale is subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“I am a lifelong basketball fan, a student of the NBA game, and this is a dream come true for me,” stated Alex Meruelo, founder and chief executive officer of the Meruelo Group. “I am committed to winning and look forward to engaging with our wonderful fans, our dedicated season ticket holders, our committed corporate partners and this passionate community. I believe that both the Hawks and Philips Arena have unlimited potential for the future. I am honored to be a part of that future.”
The Atlanta Hawks will remain a long-term tenant of Philips Arena and Alex Meruelo will serve as the Hawks’ Governor to the NBA.
The transaction is expected to close in late 2011, subject to NBA approval and customary closing conditions. In keeping with the terms of their confidentiality agreement and NBA regulations, both parties have agreed not to comment further on the transaction pending a final close.
With roots dating to 1986, the Meruelo Group is a diversified holding and management company owned and controlled by prominent U.S. Hispanic business executive Alex Meruelo. The Meruelo Group has diverse holdings in banking and financial services, restaurants and food services, construction and engineering, real estate, hotel/casino operations and private equity.