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Davidson Will Retain Partial Ownership Of Pistons Franchise

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Tom Gores watches the action against the Cleveland Cavaliers with current owner Karen Davidson on April 11, 2011 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (credit:Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tom Gores watches the action against the Cleveland Cavaliers with current owner Karen Davidson on April 11, 2011 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (credit:Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Two are better than one.  At least that’s the latest on who will be the owner of the Detroit Pistons franchise.

97.1 The Ticket’s Terry Foster said Karen Davidson will retain part ownership of the NBA franchise, its arena and Palace Sports and Entertainment, after the sale to Beverly Hills, California billionaire Tom Gores is complete.

“They really could not agree on a sale price. Karen Davidson and the NBA wanted a certain price and Tom Gores wanted a different one so, it sounds like they’re reaching some type of compromise where Gores will pay a price he feels more comfortable with and Karen Davidson can still be part of the Pistons,” Foster said.

Gores and Davidson reached an agreement on the sale last month, which has not closed yet and is awaiting the approval of the NBA.

“The thing that I find curious is earlier, she had said that she really doesn’t want to deal with ownership and wanted out. Maybe this takes the pressure off of her where Tom Gores will be making most of the decisions and she can still be part of the Pistons family,” Foster said.

Davidson took ownership of the team, the Palace and its entertainment arm following the 2009 death of her husband, Bill Davidson.

“It’s good that the Davidson family is still part of this. I mean, Bill Davidson is the one that built this team. Even though he’s no longer around, you’ll still have the Davidson’s brand on this franchise, and maybe that’s important,” Foster said.

Gores, 46, is a Flint native and CEO of Platinum Equity, a global investment firm whose holdings include 34 portfolio companies in technology, media and entertainment, industrials, metals processing, automotive supply, and distribution and logistics.

“When reporters approached [Karen] and asked about Tom Gores, the first thing she said was ‘he’s family,’ so if there’s still going to be a partnership there, then I guess he is family and she’s not going to be totally out of the picture,” Foster said.

Comerica Bank will provide financing on the transaction, which expected to close by June 30, pending league approval and closing conditions.

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