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Billionaire film producer increasing his ownership stake in Pacers

The Indiana Pacers logo at center court

Apr 22, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A general view of center court before game four between the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Rales may be positioning himself to eventually become the majority owner of the Indiana Pacers.

Sportico reports this week that Rales, the billionaire film producer, has bought an additional minority stake in the Pacers. Rales already owned 5 percent of the team and is now buying another 15 percent (reportedly at a valuation of $3.47 billion) to bring his total ownership stake to 20 percent.

The Sportico report shares another notable detail about Rales’ new purchase agreement — it comes with a possible path to controlling ownership in the event that the Simon family, the current majority owners, ever decide to sell the Pacers. Rales could potentially get a right of first refusal or a right of first offer (the latter of which would give him an exclusive window to strike a deal for the team before a wider sale process begins).

You can read the full Sportico report here.

Rales, 72, is a big player in the movie industry as the founder of Indian Paintbrush Productions, which has worked with director Wes Anderson to produce such hit films as “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Additionally, Rales is the co-founder of the medical and industrial conglomerate Danaher Corporation along with his brother Mitchell Rales, who is a part of the Washington Commanders ownership group.

The Pacers have been owned by real estate developer Herb Simon since 1983. Simon is 89 years old now but is expected to be succeeded as governor of the team by his eldest son, Stephen Simon. There were whispers in years past though that the Simon family might be looking to sell, and Rales could be angling for that possibility.

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