The Qatari funding fund is searching for a stake in NBA Wizards guardian firm Monumental
Russell Westbrook, who played for the Washington Wizards in the 2020-21 NBA season, reacts before his game against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC on February 17, 2021.
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Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has offered to buy a minority stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Washington Wizards and other Washington, DC sports teams, the National Basketball Association said Thursday.
The NBA is still reviewing the deal with the Qatar Investment Authority, league spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement to CNBC.
The fund offered to buy a roughly 5% stake in Monumental in a $4.05 billion deal, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.
The proposed agreement was first reported by Sportico. It is believed to be the first time the Qatar government has invested in US professional sports.
The NBA began allowing sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors to acquire non-controlling interests in the league’s teams in November. Under a new policy, a foreign fund can buy up to 20% of an NBA team.
“In accordance with policy, if approved, QIA would have a passive minority interest in the team and would not be involved in its operations or decision-making,” Bass said in the league’s statement.
In addition to the Wizards, Monumental owns the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Women’s National Basketball Association team, the Washington Mystics.
The company also owns the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go and recently acquired the media company formerly known as NBC Sports Washington and now called Monumental Sports Network.
Monumental declined to comment.