Belo Sells Stake In Mavericks


(AP) Belo has sold its minority stake in the Dallas Mavericks and their new downtown arena to team controlling owner Mark Cuban. Belo will receive $27 million for its 12.38% share of the team and its 6.19% stake in the American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks and Dallas Stars play.

Belo, which owns The Dallas Morning News, other newspapers, and more than a dozen television stations, announced in July 1999 that it had paid $24.5 million to become part-owner of the Mavericks.

The company also withdrew the lawsuit it filed against Cuban. The company had alleged that Cuban reneged on an agreement to purchase the Belo stake under the same financial terms offered to former Mavericks owner Ross Perot Jr. “We did realize a gain on the sale, and we’re satisfied we were able to reach closure and move on,” Guy Kerr, Belo’s general counsel, said Wednesday.

Cuban declined comment.

As part of the deal, Cuban and Belo signed a marketing agreement that commits Cuban and the Mavericks to increase their advertising in Belo-owned properties in Dallas. Kerr didn’t disclose the amount of that deal. Cuban can satisfy his commitment with advertising from his businesses other than the Mavericks, he said.

Cuban bought the Mavericks from Perot in January 2000 in a transaction that valued the team at $280 million. At that price, the value of Belo’s stake increased to $34.7 million. In its lawsuit, Belo said Cuban asked the company to take less than full price. At the time, Cuban said his refusal to match the terms given to Perot was related to the Morning News‘ coverage of the Mavericks, according to Belo’s filing.

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