The Milwaukee Bucks will announce later Wednesday that longtime owner Herb Kohl has reached an agreement to sell the team to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry in a deal valued at $550 million, according to sources familiar with the transaction.
In January, Forbes valued the Bucks at $405 million, last among the league's 30 franchises.
Sources told ESPN.com that the deal, subject to league approval, will be confirmed in an afternoon news conference.
Kohl, a longtime U.S. senator who bought the team for $18 million in 1985, made keeping the team in Milwaukee a condition of the sale. It's also believed Kohl, while relinquishing majority control, will retain a significant percentage of the team.
The Bucks have fallen way short of expectations. After harboring hopes of making a playoff push, they will finish this season with the worst record in the NBA. Wednesday's announcement will bring an upbeat conclusion to Kohl's search for buyers who wouldn't try to move the team after his nearly 30 years of ownership and deep ties to the state of Wisconsin.
Among the challenges for Edens and Lasry, assuming their purchase is ratified by the league, will be erecting a new building to replace the outdated Bradley Center.
On a visit there in September, months before he succeeded David Stern, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver said "an obvious issue we all have to deal with is we need a new arena in Milwaukee."