Qatar Investment Authority offers to buy minority stake in Washington Wizards parent company

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Russell Westbrook, who played for the Washington Wizards in the 2020-21 NBA season, reacts prior to playing against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., February 17, 2021.

Will Newton | Getty Images

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has offered to buy a minority stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Washington Wizards and other Washington, D.C., sports teams, the National Basketball Association said Thursday.

The NBA is still reviewing the deal with the Qatar Investment Authority, league spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement to CNBC.

The fund offered to buy a roughly 5% stake in Monumental as part of a $4.05 billion deal, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. 

The proposed agreement was first reported by Sportico. It is believed to be the first time the government of Qatar is investing in U.S. professional sports. 

The NBA in November began to allow sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors to buy noncontrolling stakes in the league’s teams. Under a new policy, a foreign fund can buy up to 20% of an NBA team.

“In accordance with the policy, if approved, QIA would have a passive, minority investment in the team, with no involvement in its operations or decision-making,” Bass said in the league’s statement. 

In addition to the Wizards, Monumental owns the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals and the Women’s National Basketball Association team, the Washington Mystics. 

The company also owns the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League and recently took over the media outlet formerly known as NBC Sports Washington, now Monumental Sports Network.

Monumental declined to comment.

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