Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor sold a number of shares into the NBA team, prized around $1 billion, including selling some of those shares to the NBA's first Chinese minority owner, Lizhang Jiang. In the deal, Taylor sold 5% of the Timberwolves to Jiang, who also purchased 5% of the local WNBA team, the Minnesota Lynx.
Jiang is a Chinese businessman based in Shanghai, and he is far from new to the NBA and its growing business. Jiang founded the Chinese marketing company Double-Edge Sports, and previously Jiang and his company worked with the NBA in China. Jiang also completed the purchase of Spanish premier division soccer team Granada CF earlier this month. In addition to Jiang, Taylor sold another 5% of the Timberwolves to New York real estate magnate, Meyer Orbach.
Taylor has considered selling the team often this past decade, going as far as putting the team on the market before taking them off twice in the last five years. At the beginning of the year, Taylor planned on selling 30% of the team to minority Memphis Grizzlies owner, Steve Kaplan, but the deal fell through, leaving Taylor looking vulnerable as the sole owner of the franchise. Now, with these two minority share owners on board, Taylor has more stability in terms of the market.
The Timberwolves are expected to formally announce these investments later this week.
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