The Perth Wildcats are on the brink of being sold to a sports and media company headed up by a part-owner of fellow NBL side Melbourne United, the team the West Australian side is currently battling for the league’s title.
- SEG has expressed interest in acquiring the Perth Wildcats
- It comes as Perth and Melbourne face each other in the NBL Grand Final
- The company says there’s no certainty a transaction will proceed
Sports Entertainment Group (SEG) has confirmed to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) that it is in “advanced exclusive negotiations” to purchase the Wildcats from businessman Jack Bendat, who has owned the club since 2007.
SEG is the owner of national sports radio network SEN and its chief executive, media personality Craig Hutchison, is the chairman and a shareholder of Melbourne United — one of Perth’s biggest rivals.
The remarkable development comes as Perth and Melbourne face each other in the NBL’s Grand Final, with United leading the best-of-five series 2-0 and needing just one more win to clinch the title.
“SEG has expressed its interest in a potential acquisition of the Perth Wildcats,” the company confirmed to the ASX.
“The parties are in advanced exclusive negotiations which remain subject to further negotiation, including consultation with and approval from the National Basketball League and drafting of necessary agreements.
“There is no certainty that a transaction will proceed.”
In the 14 years Mr Bendat has owned the club, he has overseen the most successful period in the club’s already illustrious history.
Six of its 10 NBL titles have come in that time, while crowds have grown dramatically since the Wildcats relocated to Perth Arena in 2012.
But adding an 11th title this season appears exceedingly unlikely, with Perth ravaged by injury and needing to beat United in three consecutive games in Melbourne to win the Grand Final series.
Game Three of the Grand Final series is on Friday.