Since last summer, there have been quite a few twists and turns involving the sale of the Detroit Pistons. One day it looks like a deal is imminent, and the next the parties involved in negotiations are still far apart. Case in point: It was reported yesterday that the sale of the Pistons to Tom Gores could be voted on by NBA owners in April, indicating that an agreement was close. Today, however, the Detroit News reported that a deal still is far apart due to a number of issues.
The main problem all along with the sale of the Pistons has been the price of the team. By all accounts Mike Ilitch originally offered more than $400 million before lowering his bid to only $360 million. This was reportedly the result of finding out some numbers were inflated by the Pistons.
Tom Gores has been negotiating with Karen Davidson for a couple months now, and every time it looks like things are getting close the issue of the price comes up. Gores isn't going to overpay for the Pistons, and his desire to look into more and more of the team's financial information is reportedly now frustrating Davidson.
In fact, some close to the negotiators say that not only is no agreement imminent, Karen Davidson's fatigue and frustration are growing.
One source close to Davidson last week said the process is so utterly problematic, she feels as though she has lost control of it. Her concern, in part, is that while Gores continually requires more information, too few details of an agreement are in place, despite more than two months of exclusive negotiations.
The News also mentions that issues involving whether or not "Davidson and Bill Davidson's children will retain a portion of the franchise or are paid significant revenue from the entertainment properties, including the DTE Energy Music Theater" are still unsettled. This is why an agreement doesn't appear so imminent with so many key issues unresolved.
The one other interesting thing mentioned in the News' report is that Gores has been exclusively negotiating with Davidson for two months. I was under the impression that his exclusivity period had ended, but the News reports that Ilitch and a new, unnamed prospective bidder have been blocked from getting involved in negotiations.