Katten Represents Detroit Pistons in Sale of NBA Franchise

Firm News | June 6, 2011

CHICAGO – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to have represented the Detroit Pistons and The Palace of Auburn Hills in the completion of the sale of the NBA franchise and the team’s arena to California businessman and Michigan native Tom Gores and his private equity firm, Platinum Equity. The deal, originally announced in April, has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors and closed on June 1.

“This team and arena have been an important part of the Davidson family for many years and I am appreciative of the work done by Katten in helping guide us through the sales process,” said Karen Davidson, selling owner of the team and arena. “Their experience and support was an integral part of getting this deal done.”

Adam R. Klein, chair of Katten’s Sports Law and Sports Facilities Practice, led a team of Katten lawyers, which included partners James J. Calder, David R. Dlugie, Valentina Famparska, Michael A. Jacobson and Walter S. Weinberg, and associate Harris R. Eisenberg, in advising the Pistons and The Palace on the sale. This included negotiation and documentation of the purchase agreement and related transaction documents and facilitating the NBA’s approval of the transaction.

Katten’s Sports Law and Sports Facilities Practice provides legal services to a wide array of participants in the sports industry, including professional and minor league franchises, prospective owners, broadcasters, government entities, arena/stadium developers and operators, financial institutions, universities and corporate sponsors. The firm counsels clients regarding all aspects of the business of sports, including player and management issues, compliance with league rules and developments in league policies, television and radio broadcast agreements, sponsorship agreements, including naming rights deals, intellectual property and Internet issues, and all aspects of arena/stadium construction, financing and operations, including ticketing arrangements, concession deals, event agreements and suite licenses. Katten has used this experience to represent several clients in their pursuit of purchasing or selling MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, ECHL, USHL and AFL franchises. In addition, Katten has represented players and franchises in litigation and related investigative matters, including civil and criminal matters, internal investigations into patterns and practices, and player/agent arbitrations. Current and past clients include the Big Ten Conference, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Oakland A’s, Philadelphia Union, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Earthquakes and Time Warner Cable.

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