Comcast-Spectacor's sale of the 76ers to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris is expected to close early next week, according to a source close to the situation.
Terms of the sale were agreed upon in July, but the deal has been pending approval of the NBA's board of governors for more than two months. The NBA has been mired in a lockout since July 1. On Monday, the league canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season.
The new ownership group is expected to speak publicly for the first time next week, assuming the sale is officially approved, as expected.
The deal is for 100 percent of the Sixers for approximately $280 million. The deal does not include the NHL's Flyers, also owned by Comcast-Spectacor, or the Wells Fargo Center, which houses both professional franchises.
Under this new ownership, the Sixers will become a tenant in the Wells Fargo Center.
Harris, 46, is a founding partner at the private equity firm Apollo Global Management. He is joined in the investment group by David Blitzer of the private-equity firm Blackstone, portfolio manager Art Wrubel, and former NBA agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien. All are making private investments, having no affiliation with the firms Apollo or Blackstone.
Harris, Blitzer, and Wrubel are graduates of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
This year, Forbes valued the Sixers at $330 million, the NBA's 17th most expensive franchise. Comcast-Spectacor bought the Sixers in 1996 for $130 million.