For Sale: Charlotte Bobcats

It will not be an easy sale, however: “Charlotte Bobcats majority owner Bob Johnson has stepped up efforts to sell the team, recently hiring a sports investment banker to look for a buyer. Sal Galatioto, president of New York-based Galatioto Sports Partners, confirmed to the Observer Thursday that he’s representing Johnson in a potential sale. Galatioto declined to comment further on the situation…The challenge will be affixing a value on the team that Johnson and a buyer would accept. A source with long ties to the NBA, who has inquired about the Bobcats’ availability, said Johnson wants between $325 million and $350 million. That would approximate the original $300 million expansion fee Johnson paid the NBA, starting in 2003, plus his initial $30 million investment in working capital. However, it’s questionable whether a buyer would accept that valuation in the current economy. Forbes magazine, in its annual valuation of NBA teams, estimated in December that the Bobcats are worth $284 million, or 29th among 30 teams (topping only the Milwaukee Bucks).”