Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry has entered into an agreement to sell his interest in the team to Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Haslam Sports Group for a valuation of $3.5 billion, league sources say. The athletic.
Haslam will join the ownership group with current co-owner Wes Edens after a months-long process involving several meetings between the parties. Haslam attended multiple Bucks games throughout the process, including sitting on court in Milwaukee for Sunday’s 104-101 victory over Phoenix and the December 30 victory over the Timberwolves.
Sources with knowledge of Lasry’s plans said he will continue to pursue business opportunities in the sport, including the possible ownership of another professional team.
Edens and Lasry purchased the Bucks from Herb Kohl in 2014 for $550 million. As part of the sale, Kohl pledged to donate $100 million to a new arena to ensure the team would stay in Milwaukee.
Under Lasry’s tenure, the Bucks fulfilled their promise of a new arena. Fiserv Forum opened in August 2018 and has seen tremendous business success around the building as the surrounding development, dubbed the Deer District, has helped transform part of downtown Milwaukee.
Lasry’s nearly decade-long run as co-owner — the last three and a half as the controlling governor — saw the Bucks emerge as a powerhouse on and off the floor.
The team morphed into a perennial title contender as Giannis Antetokounmpo emerged as a superstar, winning back-to-back NBA MVPs, the first in 2019, during Mike Budenholzer’s first two seasons as head coach. After three seasons of consistent success, the Bucks won the 2021 NBA title, the franchise’s second championship and first since 1971. Key to that title was an off-season trade by GM Jon Horst who brought Jrue Holiday to the Bucks to form a big three with Antetokounmpo. and Chris Middleton.
Haslam, 68, is the chairman of the board of the Truckstop chain Pilot Flying J. His father, Jim, founded the Pilot Oil Corporation in 1958, and Pilot Company is now the fifth largest privately held company in the United States. States, according to a 2022 Forbes list. According to Forbes, the company’s revenue in 2022 was $41.9 billion and the company employs 30,000 people.
Haslam already owns the Browns in the NFL and the Columbus Crew in the MLS. He has been involved in professional sports franchise ownership since 2008, when he purchased a minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers. He sold his minority interest in the Steelers to buy the Browns from Randy Lerner and take over the franchise for $1 billion.
Since taking over the franchise midway through the 2012 season, Haslam has seen the Browns compile a 55-113-1 record and make just one playoff appearance, in 2020. Haslam took over the Columbus Crew in early 2019 and the team won the MLS cup in 2020.
(Photo by Jimmy Haslam: Ken Blaze/USA Today)