Michael Bloomberg joins Marc Lore, A-Rod in bid to buy Timberwolves

Former New York City Mayor and billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg has joined the investor group headed by Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez that is seeking to acquire a majority stake in the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

The addition of Bloomberg, who built his fortune after co-founding his eponymous financial data company that has served Wall Street professionals for decades, is a major coup for Lore and Rodriguez, who are locked in a battle with current T-Wolves majority owner Glen Taylor over control over the team.

A spokesperson for Lore confirmed Bloomberg’s participation in the investment group.

A spokesperson for Bloomberg declined to comment.

Bloomberg’s involvement in the Lore-A-Rod bid to own the Wolves dates back to late last year, The Post has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

Public knowledge of Bloomberg’s investment puts pressure on Taylor, who is trying to stop the sale, and has signaled that A-Rod and Lore do not have enough money to build the team. 

If Lore and A-Rod succeed in wresting control of the T-Wolves from Taylor, Bloomberg will wind up with approximately a 10% ownership stake in the team, sources told The Post.

An arbitration court is expected to decide in August or September whether A-Rod and Lore can force a sale, sources said.

The Post has sought comment from the Timberwolves and Rodriguez.

News of Bloomberg’s involvement was first reported by The Athletic.

Bloomberg’s wealth, which is valued by Forbes at $106.2 billion as of Thursday, makes him the 13th richest person in the world.

Bloomberg’s addition allows Lore and Rodriguez to go forward with a final $300 million investment to buy out Taylor in the short term rather than waiting until the end of the basketball season next year, according to the report.

Bloomberg is reportedly set to kick in just a portion of the $300 million as most of the money will come from investors that Lore and A-Rod have already lined up, among them former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

The investment group headed by the Lore-Rodriguez tandem currently owns around 40% of the T-Wolves as well as the WNBA team, the Lynx.

In April 2021, Lore, the e-commerce mogul behind successful startups such as Diapers.com and Jet.com, teamed up with former Yankees great Rodriguez and reached an agreement with Taylor to purchase the Wolves for $1.5 billion.

The agreement was structured so that Lore and A-Rod would gradually acquire stakes in the team in a multi-step process over the span of a few years.

By last year, the two sides proceeded to the point where A-Rod and Lore amassed a 36% stake in the club.

The deal’s final stage called for the two to acquire an additional 40% stake by this past March — giving them majority control of the NBA franchise.

But Taylor, the 83-year-old businessman and former Minnesota state lawmaker, balked at selling the 40% stake — claiming that Lore and A-Rod did not line up adequate financing to complete the transaction.

Lore and A-Rod denied the claim, saying that Taylor got “seller’s remorse” after his T-Wolves surged to championship contention and likely saw its valuation soar in comparison to when he agreed to sell the club three years ago.

The Wolves’ valuation has surged to north of $3 billion, according to recent reports.

The team led by explosive superstar Anthony Edwards shocked basketball observers this year by reaching the Western Conference finals in the NBA — only to lose to the Dallas Mavericks.

In late March, The Post reported that Lore, who told the NBA he was worth around $4 billion, did not want to invest much of the $520 million that was needed for him and Rodriguez to increase their stake in the team to 80%.

Lore was willing to invest a relatively little amount of money, but wanted A-Rod, who had put in a lot less than Lore, to catch up in this new round of financing to a level much closer to what he had invested, sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.

Before Lore and A-Rod were set to plunk down $600 million for the additional 40% stake, they made a last-minute change in their financing of the payment — enlisting private equity firm Dyal Capital after the withdrawal of the Carlyle Group.

Lore and A-Rod insist that the financing is ready and that they have enough money to acquire the remaining 40% stake, which would buy out Taylor’s limited partners and leave him with 20% of the club.

The original agreement between the two sides allows Lore and A-Rod to acquire Taylor’s 20% stake anytime before March of next year.

Lore and A-Rod are reportedly making plans to map out a strategy for running the Wolves if, as they expect, the arbitrator will rule in their favor.

Their investor group plans to spend considerably to keep the team competitive, according to The Athletic, chiefly by paying the NBA’s luxury tax — a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that requires teams to fork over extra money if their payroll exceeds a threshold.

The Wolves’ collection of highly paid stars including Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert has inflated the payroll above the league-mandated salary cap — necessitating a luxury tax payment.