Group Led by Mat Ishbia Agrees to Acquire Majority Stake in Phoenix Suns and Mercury Basketball Teams

21 December 2022

Robert Sarver, managing partner of Suns Legacy Holdings, and Mat Ishbia, Chairman and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, today announced that Mat and his brother Justin have reached an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the franchises, pending approval from the NBA. Mat will serve as Governor and Justin will serve as alternate Governor.

The agreement values the Suns and Mercury at $4 billion. The deal involves the sale of more than 50% ownership of the team including all of Robert Sarver's interest, and a portion of the interest of minority partners, who were also granted additional sale rights.

"Mat is the right leader to build on franchise legacies of winning and community support and shepherd the Suns and Mercury into the next era," said Sarver, who acquired control of both teams in 2004 and oversaw the two winningest records of major professional sports franchises in Arizona. "As a former collegiate basketball player and national champion, Mat has exactly the right spirit, commitment and resources to pursue championships. Equally important, though, is his philanthropic outlook and commitment to using sports as a way to elevate and connect people. I know he shares my unwavering support for women's basketball and I look forward to watching him become a unifying force across the Valley of the Sun."

While the deal is pending league approval, Ishbia said: "I am extremely excited to be the next Governor of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. Both teams have an incredibly dynamic fan base and I have loved experiencing the energy of the Valley over the last few months. Basketball is at the core of my life, from my high school days as a player to the honor of playing for Coach Izzo and winning a national title at Michigan State University. I've spent the last two decades building my mortgage business, United Wholesale Mortgage, into the number one mortgage lender in America and I'm confident that we can bring that same level of success to these great organizations on and off the floor. This is a dream come true for my entire family including my parents, my three children, and my brother Justin, who will be making a significant investment with me and bring his incredible business acumen and shared passion for basketball. I appreciate Robert Sarver's time and support throughout the process. We are so honored to be, with approval by the NBA, the next stewards of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury."

Founded in 1968, the Phoenix Suns are one of the NBA's premier franchises. Under Sarver's stewardship, the team made seven playoff appearances, four trips to the western conference finals and one NBA finals appearance. The Phoenix Mercury, founded in 1997, were one of eight founding members of the WNBA and the only remaining team to still be in business and operated by its original NBA team owner. The Mercury under Sarver's ownership made 14 playoff appearances, including a current record 10 consecutive, appeared in four WNBA finals, and won three WNBA championships.