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Deal maker likely to be new Pistons owner

UPI News Service, 03/24/2011 

The potential buyer of the Detroit Pistons professional basketball team is a California deal maker worth about $2.4 billion, officials in Michigan said.

Tom Gores worked his way through Michigan State University, and his net worth has comfortably positioned him in the top half of the world's 1,210 billionaires, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

His firm, California-based Platinum Equity, works with troubled companies to turn their businesses around and its success record is impressive.

"Platinum is the most competent, best private equity firm I've ever seen," said Paul Brown, vice president of capital markets for the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Brown said Platinum helped Michigan save the Four Winns boat manufacturing business in Cadillac after its owner declared bankruptcy.

"Platinum absolutely saved the company and the jobs in Michigan," Brown said. "I believe he would be a great owner for the Pistons and Detroit and Michigan."

Karen Davidson owns the Pistons. Forbes magazine has estimated the value of the NBA team at $360 million.

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