The Utah Jazz, an NBA basketball workforce primarily based in Salt Lake Metropolis, introduced as we speak that Qualitrics CEO and co-founder Ryan Smith was shopping for a majority stake within the workforce alongside different properties. ESPN is reporting the deal is value $1.6 billion.
Smith can afford it. He bought Qualtrics, which is predicated in Provo, Utah, in 2018 to SAP for $8 billion simply earlier than the startup was about to go public. Earlier this yr, SAP introduced plans to spin out Qualtrics as public firm.
Along with The Jazz, he’s additionally getting Vivint Enviornment, the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (NBA) G League workforce Salt Lake Metropolis Stars and administration of the Triple-A baseball affiliate Salt Lake Bees. Smith is shopping for the properties from the Miller household, who’ve run them for 3 a long time.
Smith was over the moon about having the ability to purchase right into a franchise he has supported through the years. “My spouse and I are completely humbled and excited in regards to the alternative to take the workforce ahead far into the long run – particularly with the best followers within the NBA. The Utah Jazz, the state of Utah, and its capital metropolis are the beneficiaries of the Millers’ great love, generosity and funding. We stay up for constructing upon their lifelong work,” he mentioned in an announcement.
The deal is pending approval of the NBA Board Governors, however as soon as that occurs, Smith can have full determination making authority over the franchise. He isn’t the primary tech billionaire to purchase a basketball workforce.
Qualtrics, which makes buyer survey instruments, was based in 2002 and raised over $400 million from corporations like Accel, Perception Companions and Sequoia earlier than promoting the corporate two years in the past to SAP.
Smith is just not the primary tech billionaire to purchase a basketball workforce. He joins Mark Cuban, who purchased the Dallas Mavericks in 1999 after selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion that very same yr. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 for $2 billion.
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