The Utah Jazz, an NBA The basketball team based in Salt Lake City announced today that Qualitrix CEO and co-founder Ryan Smith was buying a majority stake in the team, among other assets. ESPN is reporting that the deal is worth $ 1.6 billion.
Smith can afford it. They sold Qualtrics, Which is based in Provo, Utah, the startup was scheduled to go public in 2018, just before SAP’s $ 8 billion. Earlier this year, SAP Announced plans to exclude Qualtix as a public company.
In addition to The Jazz, he also has management of Vivint Arena, the National Basketball Association (NBA) G League team Salt Lake City Stars and Triple-A Baseball affiliate Salt Lake Bees. Smith is buying the property from the Miller family, who have run him for three decades.
Smith was able to purchase a franchise on the moon that he has supported over the years. “My wife and I are completely humble and are excited about the opportunity to take the team forward in the future – especially with the biggest fans in the NBA. Utah Jazz is the beneficiary of the tremendous love, generosity and investment of the state of Utah and its capital city of the Millers. We look forward to their lifelong work, ”he said in a statement.
The deal is pending the approval of the NBA Board of Governors, but once that happens, Smith will have the authority to make a full decision on the franchise.
Qualtrix, which makes customer survey tools, was founded in 2002 and raised more than $ 400 million from companies such as Accel, Insight Partners and Sequoia before selling the company two years ago.
Smith is not the first Tech billionaire to buy a basketball team. He joins Mark Cuban, who sold the Dallas Mavericks to Broadcast.com in 1999 to Yahoo for $ 5.7 billion. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 for $ 2 billion.