Meyer Orbach, the second-largest shareholder of the Minnesota Timberwolves, filed a lawsuit in Minneapolis District Court on Wednesday, alleging that it is about to sell the franchise rights of the owner of Glen Taylor to Mark Lore and Alex Rodriguez Violated the franchise cooperation agreement.
According to a copy of the complaint received by ESPN, the complaint by Orbach, a New Jersey real estate tycoon who owns more than 17% of the Timberwolves and WNBA Lynx, also contains significant disclosures: despite Taylor’s public statement to the contrary. According to the appendix of the lawsuit, the $1.5 billion sales agreement with Lore and Rodriguez did not contain any clauses requiring the new owner group to retain the Minnesota franchise by controlling the team.
The agreement with Lore and Rodriguez is expected to end on July 1, and includes a “governance issue” clause that sets out various actions that require new owners to “submit themselves to the advisory board,” including any plans. Relocation of the team from the cooperative city market.
The wording of the sales agreement between Taylor and potential owners Rodriguez and Lowe contrasts with many of Taylor’s public comments that the sales agreement will contain a clause requiring the new group to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota. And Rodriguez expects to purchase the team in installments, first becoming limited partners, and then increasing their shares until they obtain a majority stake in 2023.
This sequence is expected to include the purchase of 20% of the shares of the source team announced in 2021. In essence, Orbach’s complaint states that the accompanying regulations must be implemented immediately. Only after Lore and Rodriguez signed the purchase contract.
Taylor has been looking for such an agreement. Other owners, such as the late Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin, when selling current owner Ted Leonsis and most recently as Mikhail Prokhorov did this when he sold the Brooklyn Nets to Joseph Tsai for two deals per year. Taylor bought the franchise in 1994 preventing the transfer of the franchise to New Orleans. Taylor stated that he will lead the club for another two seasons until he returns in 2023.