Detroit Pistons Owner, Potential Buyer Enter Two-Week Exclusivity Period

Platinum Equity LLC founder Tom Gores has been given a 14-day exclusive negotiating period to work out a deal to buy the Detroit Pistons.

Michael Layne, a spokesman for Pistons owner Karen Davidson, said in a statement yesterday that the two sides agreed to the two-week window. If a deal is reached, it will go to the National Basketball Association for approval.

Davidson inherited 76 percent of the team when her husband, William, died in 2009, according to Forbes Magazine. In addition to the three-time NBA champion Pistons, she may also sell the Palace of Auburn Hills and the DTE Energy Music Theatre, the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday.

The 46-year-old Gores is a Flint, Michigan, area native and Michigan State University graduate. He is the founder and chairman of Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills, California-based private equity investment firm that owns more than 30 companies in a range of industries.

Last year, the Pistons won 27 games, their lowest total since the 1993-1994 season, and missed the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons. Since last year, the team’s estimated value dropped 25 percent, to $360 million from $480 million, according to Forbes.

The team is currently 20-34 after a 106-92 home loss to the Miami Heat last night.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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