The former owners of the Atlanta Hawks,a group by the name The Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC, (AHBE) has filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit for breach of contract was filed against New Hampshire Insurance Company, and it involved unsettled claims by former general manager Danny Ferry. The previous ownership includes controlling partner Bruce Levenson. The filed lawsuit, however, has nothing to do with the current Hawks ownership group which is led by Antony Ressler.
Bruce Levenson is the brains that held the AHBE firm together. During the sale of the company, he hired two bankers, Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports to find the best deal for the Hawks as well as their operating rights of Philips Arena. Goldman Sachs had convinced Levenson that the deal could rack up to $1 billion. However, the deal concluded with Ares Management co-founder Tony Ressler winning a bid on the team at $730 million. http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2015/04/23/bankers-for-levenson-oversold-atlanta-hawks-by-27/.
He alongside other partners like Gearon had purchased the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers Hawks, and the operating rights to their Phillips Arena back in 2004. This was a deal that they completed at $ 240 million.
Even though the sales garnered major profits, it is claimed that the bankers who were involved with the deal did not work it out right. Goldman Sachs had prior convinced Levenson that the Hawks were worth up to $ 1 billion. Through this over sale, the bankers could have dissuaded some bidders. As a result, there was a lot of money left on the table at the conclusion of the deal. However, Bruce Levenson and his group of partners made good money from the deal. This a sign of the kind of leadership Levenson provided at the company helping it gain even more value over time.