Billionaire May Buy Dallas MavericksAP , Associated Press
Jan. 4, 2000 1:24 AM ET
DALLAS (AP) _ Broadcast.com co-founder Mark Cuban agreed to buy the Dallas Mavericks from Ross Perot Jr. for about $280 million, according to media reports.
Cuban, a billionaire since selling his company to Yahoo!, would be paying more than double the estimated $125 million Perot's group paid less than four years ago, according to The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WFAA-TV.
The sale is expected to be completed in March.
Neither Perot nor Cuban could immediately be reached for comment.
A source told the Star-Telegram that Perot was overwhelmed by Cuban's offer. Another source suggested Perot is tired of the negative publicity surrounding the team, from its subpar record to its latest troubles with top draft pick Leon Smith.
Smith, receiving psychiatric care, signed a $1.4 million, three-year contract in November last year but has yet to play for the team. Mavericks officials have received criticism for not helping him make the adjustment from high school to professional sports.
Cuban, 41, often talked about his interest in sports teams and tried buying the Pittsburgh Penguins last year. He's been a Mavericks season-ticket holder for years with seats near the team's bench.
Perot said he pursued the team because he believed that it could be a catalyst for real estate development.
Under his ownership, the Mavericks and the Dallas Stars hockey team got voters to approve a new arena for the teams that will be opened in 2001. Perot and Stars owner Tom Hicks are involved in developing much of the land around it.
Cuban and fellow Indiana University graduate Todd Wagner started Broadcast.com in 1995 in Cuban's spare bedroom as a way to hear Hoosiers basketball games in Dallas. The company now operates out of a 28,000-square-foot converted warehouse equipped with satellite dishes that pull in TV and radio signals from around the world.
When the company went public in July 1998, its opening stock price was $18 a share. It shot to $72 before closing its first day at $62.75.