No Chinese Investment Into the Cavs

by August 26, 2010

A Chinese Investment had expressed interest in buying a large chunk of the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, but the deal fell apart under mysterious circumstances. The Plain Dealer reports that it had nothing to do with LeBron’s departure, though: “The deal to sell a minority stake in the Cavaliers to a Chinese investment group — what would have been the first major Chinese investment in an American sports league — has been dead for months, according to the Cavs and the NBA. The agreement was billed as a timely entree into the massive and growing Chinese sports audience, and a valuable cash infusion for the Cavs — both positive developments in the bid to keep free agent LeBron James. The sale was expected to be completed late last year, pending NBA approval. ‘It never materialized, as far as completing the application process with the league,’ said Cavs President Len Komoroski. ‘Ultimately, you would have to ask [Huang’s group] as to why.’ Neither Huang nor Katzman could be immediately reached for comment. Any transfer of team ownership of more than 5 percent must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, specifically three-fourths of the other 29 teams. Approval is based on a rigorous personal, business and financial background check. Apparently, the process never got that far. ‘The group Mr. Huang was advising declined to submit a complete ownership application to the league and was informed several months ago that it would not be considered for approval,’ NBA spokesman Mike Bass responded by e-mail Wednesday.”