Sports Entertainment Group take over from Jack Bendat as new owners of Perth Wildcats

Sports Entertainment Group take over from Jack Bendat as new owners of Perth Wildcats

The takeover of the Perth Wildcats by Sports Entertainment Group has been completed, with the organisation confirming it has signed an agreement to purchase the club from Jack Bendat.

Key points:
Jack Bendat’s deal with Sports Entertainment Group is subject to final NBL approval on July 30
Chairman Craig Coleman said SEG hoped to “build on the incredible legacy of Jack Bendat”
Dr Bendat said the Wildcats’ success was testament to the “community-first” and “winning culture” they created during his time
The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, brings to an end the 14-year ownership of the Wildcats by Dr Bendat, which produced six NBL titles, and helped save the league from bankruptcy.

According to ASX, consideration for the acquisition is $8.5 million before adjustments and will be funded from existing cash reserves.

SEG has proposed to dilute or divest its current 25% shareholding of Melbourne United.

The deal is subject to final NBL approval on July 30.

“The Wildcats are an iconic team, with a world record 35 successive finals series, and are even bigger champions in the community,” SEG chairman Craig Coleman said.

“They’ve been a team that’s served the state of WA with incredible pride and distinction and never lost sight of their impact on people’s lives and putting smiles on faces.

“We see this as a strategic investment in a sport we’ve already enjoyed being part of, and hope to build on the incredible legacy of Jack Bendat.

Perth Wildcats success
Perth Wildcats players in a team huddle.
After coming close to bankruptcy, the Perth Wildcats transformed their off-court identity to become one of the most successful franchises in world sport, writes Clint Thomas.

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“We pay tribute to Jack today and look forward to honouring his wishes to keep the Perth Wildcats one of the biggest success stories in Australian sport and delighting fans in our great state.”

SEG owns the Sports Entertainment Network, and its chief executive Craig Hutchison is chairman of reigning NBL Champions Melbourne United.

Mr Hutchison said he will step down from his role at United, but intended to retain a stake in the club.

United recently beat the Wildcats in the NBL Grand Finals series.

“I’d like to also add my respect to the wonderful basketball and business legacy of Jack Bendat and thank him for the opportunity,” Mr Hutchison said.

“We believe in the growth story of the NBL and stand with all clubs in growing the game under the leadership of Larry Kestelman.”

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