×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sturm’s deal to buy Ascent falls through

Denver co. can't get rid of Nuggets, Avalanche

Denver-based Ascent Entertainment Group was thwarted again in its attempt to sell off its sports-related businesses when its deal with billionaire Donald Sturm fell through on Monday night.

That could jeopardize Liberty Media’s recent agreement to buy the rest of Ascent for $500 million in stock. The agreement was contingent on a successful sale of the sports assets.

Ascent said in a statement that Sturm was not able to come to terms with the city of Denver on the sale, in which he would have purchased NBA team the Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the new Pepsi Center in Denver. The city declined to extend its agreement-in-principal on the sale, which expired Monday.

This is the second attempted sale of Ascent’s sports assets that has fallen through; a deal to sell the sports assets to William and Nancy Walton Laurie failed in August when shareholders successfully sued Ascent and its then-CEO Charles Lyons to stop the transaction. In that case, shareholders balked at what they considered an unreasonably low sale price brokered by Lyons.

Liberty Media, a unit of AT&T, said there’s a possibility that its deal with Ascent could be salvaged and talks were under way, but nothing had been decided. Ascent’s remaining assets include a lucrative hotel pay-per-view and Internet access business.

Ascent announced Tuesday that it is considering bringing a lawsuit against Sturm.

Sturm agreed to buy Ascent’s sports assets in August, but later expressed reservations about the deal when Denver mayor Wellington Webb insisted on guarantees from Sturm that he would keep the sports teams in the city for the next 25 years.

More Biz

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

  • Blair Rich Marketing Summit

    Studio Marketing Chiefs Discuss the Theatrical vs. Netflix Oscars Debate

    On a day where a large part of the Fox marketing department was wiped out in the aftermath of the Disney merger, a group of marketing chiefs from other studios and streamers sat down at the Variety Entertainment Marketing Summit to discuss the issues shaping the feature marketing landscape today, including the theatrical distribution vs. Netflix [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Guy Oseary’s New Zealand Fundraiser Nears $150,000, Continues Raising Money

    In the wake of the horrific shootings at New Zealand mosques last week that killed some 49 people, Maverick chief Guy Oseary launched a GoFundMe campaign to “support those affected by this tragedy at this very difficult time,” and began it with an $18,000 donation. Boosted by donations from many celebrities — including Amy Schumer, [...]

  • Cesar Sayoc Headshot

    Florida Man Pleads Guilty in CNN Pipe Bomb Case

    A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump. Cesar Sayoc appeared in federal court in New York, where he pleaded to 65 counts stemming from the mailing of 16 devices. He faces life in prison, plus 120 months, at his sentencing on Sept. 12. [...]

  • Gabrielle Union Marketing Summit

    Gabrielle Union on Building a Brand as a ‘40-Year-Old Black Woman From Nebraska’

    When New York & Company approached Gabrielle Union to be their new brand ambassador and the face of her own clothing line, the actress reacted with “disbelief.” “We are not supposed to be getting those offers, I’m not supposed to be having a career resurgence, my value isn’t supposed to be this high,” Union explained [...]

  • Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion Per

    Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion per Month as Company Loses Fizz

    Growing regulatory encroachments into its games business, a smaller than expected spin-off for its music division, and a fourth quarter profits drop, pointed to a troubling year for Chinese tech giant Tencent. Its financial results for the full 2018 period, while delivering profits of nearly $1 billion a month, appeared to bear out that thesis. [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content