by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
Add another music mogul to the list of NBA owners.
Six-time Grammy Award winner, pop star, and avid sports fan Justin Timberlake will become a minority shareholder in Robert Pera’s pending purchase of the Memphis Grizzlies. The 31-year-old Timberlake, who was born in Memphis, has frequently attended Grizzlies and Lakers games for the better part of a decade. His exact ownership stake has not yet been announced, but if the transaction does goes through, Timberlake will join fellow artists Usher (Cleveland Cavaliers), Nelly (Charlotte Bobcats) and Jay-Z (Brooklyn Nets) as artists who also have minority shares in NBA teams.
More details, via the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Pop star Justin Timberlake has decided to secure a stake in his hometown’s professional sports franchise. Pera, 34, agreed in June to the purchase and continues to undergo the standard vetting by the NBA. The league’s majority owners will have to vote to approve his ownership bid, but if it’s approved, he’ll become just the second majority owner in the franchise’s 11-plus years in Memphis. Last month, Pera agreed to terms with a group of local minority partners that includes AutoZone founder J.R. “Pitt” Hyde and financier Staley Cates, who were minority owners under Heisley. In the new agreement, which is for about one-third of the team, Pera agreed to terms that will effectively guarantee the team’s future in Memphis for the next 15 years. “Most importantly, the team’s not going anywhere,” Cates said Aug. 22. “That’s the whole point. That’s the main thing that this is all about.” Timberlake has won six Grammy Awards and an Emmy with his role as a solo entertainer and with the group *NSYNC. He grew up in Shelby Forest and attended E.E. Jeter Elementary before leaving the area to pursue his musical career. In focusing on his hometown in recent years, he spent heavily to transform the old Big Creek Golf Course near Millington into Mirimichi and has donated hundred of thousands toward Memphis music. Pera is believed to have agreed to a $350 million purchase price for the team. Pera is the 34-year-old CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, a San Jose wireless technology firm that he founded. It’s unclear if and when the NBA will sign off on Pera’s deal. Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas in July, NBA Commissioner David Stern offered a clue when he said the league’s vetting was “proceeding on pace and we hope in the next couple of months to be able to approve that.”