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Wolves ownership dispute set for mediation on May 1

Wolves ownership dispute set for mediation on May 1

The Minnesota Timberwolves‘ ownership dispute between majority owner Glen Taylor and the Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez group will advance to a mediation session on May 1 in Minneapolis, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Taylor ended what had been a three-year ownership succession plan in late March when he announced that Lore and Rodriguez had failed to meet deadlines on the sales conditions to assume majority ownership this spring.

Lore and Rodriguez are aggressively in dispute of Taylor’s assertions and are pushing to restore the original agreement, which called for an automatic 90-day extension to obtain NBA approval and majority ownership.

As part of the original contract, mediation is the first step in the process of finding a resolution to the ongoing conflict. Despite the ownership unrest, the Timberwolves were the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference for the first time and have a 1-0 lead over Phoenix in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs.

The Rodriguez and Lore group made an initial two payments to purchase 36% of the Timberwolves and Lynx in 2022 and 2023, and said they had filed paperwork to buy an additional 40% for approximately $600 million that would give them control of the franchises by the end of March. In the months leading up to the deadline, they searched for ways to raise capital, sources told ESPN.

In a recent announcement that he had voided the contract, Taylor said Lore and Rodriguez hadn’t transferred the remaining money by a March 27 deadline. Lore and Rodriguez said they could’ve closed by then, but the NBA hadn’t formally approved their purchase.

As part of a failed process to assume majority ownership, Lore and Rodriguez submitted financial projections forecasting a sizable retreat in roster payroll that Taylor believed would jeopardize the franchise’s ability to compete for a championship, sources recently told ESPN.

In documents shared with Taylor, the NBA and The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, Lore and Rodriguez rendered a budget projection as potential majority owners that would’ve lowered the Timberwolves’ payroll to $171 million beginning next season — below the projected $172 million luxury tax threshold, sources told ESPN. The Timberwolves would’ve gone from having approximately a $25 million-plus tax payment to receiving a tax distribution of approximately $6.5 million.

Read the complete article here.

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