Forbes blogger Mike Ozanian is reporting that Mike Ilitch is back in the game to buy the Detroit Pistons from current owner Karen Davidson.
Ilitch lowered his bid last year—about $360 million according to the News—when he found out the Pistons’ projected revenue was inflated. Iltich is hoping to get the team at about the same amount, which is what Forbes has the Pistons’ overall value set at.
California financier and Michigan State graduate Tom Gores became the leading contender after the Ilitch deal fell through. Gores’ 14-day extension on his 30-day exclusivity window ended with no deal in place and it’s believed the Pistons are asking for $420 million, much more than what Ilitch initially offered.
The Detroit News reported that there is also a new bidder to consider:
The News reported Saturday that at least one entity that had not previously submitted a bid sought to make an offer recently but was told to wait, while negotiations continued with Gores.
But Ozanian gives a different interpretation, saying that the new bidder is acutally Ilitch:
The Detroit News reports owner Karen Davidson said the other day that there is another prospective bidder for the team should she and Gores fail to come to terms.
Now I am hearing that Ilitch is that guy and he is looking to grab the team and the Palace of Auburn Hills for right around the $360 million we pegged the Pistons at in January,
Davidson is nuts if she thinks Gores is going to give her the asking price of $420 million when Forbes and Ilitch both estimate it significantly lower. Gores didn’t become one of the richest men in the world by overpaying and he’s certainly not going to for a floundering NBA team. There’s a good possibility that this sale will continue well into the offseason, which is bad news for GM Joe Dumars as he tries to fix the mess the Pistons have become on the floor.