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Sports Entertainment Group Buy Perth Wildcats

S
ports Entertainment Group (SEG) chairman, Craig Colman confirmed an agreement has been made to purchase 100 % of National Basketball League (NBL) club Perth Wildcats from long-time owner Jack Bendat.

The agreement, for an undisclosed fee, will be made official on July 30 pending NBL approval.

One of the three SEG board directors to be based in Western Australia (WA), Coleman said the Wildcats fit the business’s “Whole of Sport” strategy to enrich the lives of sports fans and help connect them with brands.

“The Wildcats are an iconic team, with a world record 35 successive finals series, and even bigger champions in the community,” 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 in people’s lives and the smiles on the faces in the community.

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

“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,” he said.

Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) report the acquisition comes after a recent increased presence in the sport, “including a 25% stake in Melbourne United, Women’s National Basketball League production rights, production of the NBL show Overtime, and various radio rights.”

SEN chief executive, Craig Hutchison thanked Bendat for the opportunity and added he respected Bendat’s legacy in both basketball and business.

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

“This investment franks our existing local sports commitment in WA – including radio stations 657SENTrack WA, SENSpirit 621 Bunbury, SEN Peel; the recent attraction of local great Adam Gilchrist to the SEN family; our platinum partnership of Optus Stadium and more.

“We look forward to supporting management of the Wildcats continue its strong connection to the WA community,” he said.

Owner and chairman of the Perth Wildcats, Jack Bendat, acquired the club in 2007 and has since led the club to six NBL championships and had a positive impact on the WA community.

Bendat said he is confident the new owners will uphold the legacy the club has created.

“Through hard work, we’ve created a community-first culture and a winning-culture, which has shown in our successes both on and off the court,” Bendat said.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as chairman of the Perth Wildcats, but the time is right to move on.

“I have full confidence in the new owners to continue and build on the outstanding legacy of this iconic organisation,” he said.