Essentially, Endeavor chose to sell DBH rather than risk being kicked out of the player representation business by having its agents lose their MLBPA certification.
The Braves had owned most of their minor league affiliates for decades before agreeing to sell the Gwinnett, Mississippi and Rome teams to Endeavor in December. At the same time, Endeavor purchased the Augusta team from another owner. But all four teams remain affiliated with Braves player development, which essentially means the change in ownership has only affected the business side — not the on-field side — of operations this season.
Endeavor’s sale of the teams to Silver Lake is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year “subject to applicable regulatory consents and approvals and the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions,” Endeavor said.
The two top executives of Diamond Baseball Holdings under Endeavor ownership, Executive Chairman Pat Battle and CEO Peter Freund, will continue to lead the company under Silver Lake ownership.
The aggregate sale price, $280 million, is roughly equal to what Endeavor paid for all 10 teams, Shapiro told Sports Business Journal.
Other teams, in addition to Braves affiliates, sold to Silver Lake as part of DBH are Iowa Cubs (Triple-A affiliated with Chicago Cubs), Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A affiliated with St. Louis Cardinals), Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees), Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A affiliate of the Yankees), and San Jose Giants (Low-A subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants).
California-based Silver Lake is a global technology investment firm with over $88 billion in combined assets under management. Endeavor, also based in California, is a global company that includes entertainment agency WME, sports and media company IMG and mixed martial arts organization UFC.
Silver Lake is a major investor in Endeavour, a publicly traded company.
“We look forward to working closely with Silver Lake and building on our momentum to defend Minor League Baseball,” Battle and Freund said in a joint statement. “After many months of invaluable support and guidance from Endeavor in building this organization, and now into the proven Silver Lake portfolio, the entire DBH organization is excitedly focused on this next phase of aggressive business growth.”
Silver Lake General Manager Stephen Evans said, “We are delighted to partner with Pat, Peter and their team to help further DBH’s mission.