The NBA is one of the world’s most prestigious sports leagues, featuring 30 franchises worth $90 billion collectively, according to data compiled by Sportico.
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (QIA) has proposed to buy a minority stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, a parent company of the Washington Wizards, a representative from the National Basketball Association (NBA) confirmed in a statement.
According to sources of CNBC, the fund put forth by Qatar suggests buying a 5% stake in Monumental as part of a $4.05 billion deal.
NBA league spokesperson Mike Bass confirmed the move by the Qataris, stating a review is in order.
“The NBA Board is currently reviewing a potential investment by QIA in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Washington Wizards, among other sports properties,” Bass said in the league’s statement.
“In accordance with the policy, if approved, QIA would have a passive, minority investment in the team, with no involvement in its operations or decision-making,” the spokesperson added.
Qatar may be involved in more than one team as the parent company Monumental owns several clubs, including the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, the Women’s National Basketball Association team, the Washington Mystics, and the famed NBA’s Washington Wizards.
A report earlier this year linked the Gulf country to diversifying its global sports portfolios. If the proposal materialises, this would mark the first investment in US sports by Qatar.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos this year, QIA Chief Executive Officer Mansoor Al Mahmoud said the Gulf state’s wealth fund is eyeing investments across Europe, Asia, and the US, targeting various industries.
“It’s a challenging time. Inflation is the main topic for the global economy,” Al Mahmoud said.
“We see this as an opportunity to reposition our portfolio. We highlight the weaknesses we have in our portfolio and we wait for these sort of corrections in the market to fulfill the weaknesses we have.”
The NBA is one of the world’s most prestigious sports leagues, featuring 30 franchises worth $90 billion collectively, according to data compiled by Sportico. In December, the NBA set out plans for an expansion that allows sovereign wealth funds to buy a share of any team.