Who is Robert Pera? For the ladies out there, is he now one of America’s most eligible bachelors? More importantly, is he gonna move the Grizzlies?
Robert Pera is a 34 year old man that made his fortune after a leaving Apple in 2005. He founded Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. and is now worth $1.5 billion. No small chunk of change. Pera currently lives in San Jose, California. He graduated college from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Japanese Language, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He is a single man that now owns one of the budding teams in the NBA.
Michael Heisley was the former majority shareholder for the Memphis Grizzlies up until the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale today. The official figures have not yet been disclosed, but the majority shares are speculated to be sold for $350 million. A drop in the bucket for this media mogul.
One of the bigger questions is will Pera move the Grizzlies from Memphis to Seattle. There has been a lot of headway in the construction of a new NBA stadium in Seattle if a team will agree to move there. Pera has shown to be a very savvy business man and may not have much of a tie to the Memphis area. The question is if there was some sort of implicit agreement in the sale that the team would not be moved, for the time being at least. However, the lease with the FedEx Forum imposes steep penalties for leaving prior to the end of the lease. Pera, being the business man that he is, won’t be happy to accept those penalties, but when a team that has made the playoffs for two straight years with a young core of players is in the red AND only increases attendance by 7% after those years, it might be seen as an ideal time to find a venue that will provide better attendance and value to the franchise.
Robert Pera is the new king of Memphis, but if he is a risk taker, he might be the next wizard of the emerald city. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…