Sued by a sales partner, Glen Taylor said the Wolves would not move

Glen Taylor originally bought the Timberwolves in 1994 for $ 88 million.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor expressed confidence Thursday that the NBA franchise will remain in Minnesota after it is sold, responding to a federal lawsuit against him by one of his investors who allegedly ‘ y breach of contract.

Taylor, who also owns the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, recently concluded an agreement to sell basketball clubs to e-commerce mogul Marc Lore and former baseball star Alex Rodriguez for $ 1.5 billion. The deal will open gradually, starting this year with a 20% purchase of Taylor’s stake. Lore and Rodriguez are on track to own the majority for the 2023-24 seasons.

Taylor issued a statement by the team acknowledging the litigation from Meyer Orbach, a magnitude New Jersey real estate whose stake ownership in basketball clubs is nearly 17%.

“As a rule, we don’t comment on pending legal matters,” Taylor said. “I stand by my previous statements and commitment to keeping the Timberwolves and Lynx in Minnesota.”

The 80-year-old Taylor bought the Timberwolves in 1994 for $ 88 million so they wouldn’t move to New Orleans. He told reporters when negotiations began with Lore and Rodriguez that the franchise remaining in Minnesota was a condition of sale.

“There’s no point in talking to them if they don’t agree with that,” Taylor said in an April 10 interview with The Associated Press.

Orbach is the top man for Orbit Sports, which filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis that was first reported by ESPN. Defendants are listed as Taylor, his investment company for sports teams, and Taylor Corp., the printing and creative services business based in North Mankato, Minnesota, which he built at a multibillion-dollar that conglomerate.

Orbach, whose share of clubs is larger than the other minority clubs Taylor has put together, was first bought from the Timberwolves and Lynx in 2016. Orbach was given “tag-along rights,” giving the right to minority partners who sell their stake in the event of a transfer of ownership control.

According to the complaint, Orbach’s tag rights were triggered by the sale agreement, but Taylor denied them. Plaintiff wrote that the dealings with Lore and Rodriguez were “framed as a clumsy attempt to evade” tag-wave rights.

“Taylor not only ignored Orbit but also privately said – directly contrary to his public statements – that he was not proposing to enter into a ‘control sale’ with Rodriguez and Lore right now. Instead, Taylor claimed that the any ‘control sale’ will be years into the future, ”the lawsuit said.

The complaint also accused Taylor of misleading the public about the contractual requirement that Lore and Rodriguez keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota. According to the language in the deal, the plaintiff wrote, the issue of the team transition should be presented to an advisory board that cannot actually prevent the new general partner from moving.

The City of Minneapolis, which owns Target Center, has an agreement with the team by 2035 that carries a $ 50 million penalty for arena rental violations. The NBA board of governors must also approve any sale or transfer of a club.

Taylor said in a recent interview with Minneapolis radio station WCCO that he believes the NBA will prevent a potential Timberwolves move to Seattle, which is likely the next city to get a team but would be more lucrative in the league. as an expanding franchise. Las Vegas is another market that is considered high on the league list.

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