NBA’s Utah Jazz bought by Qualtrics founder for $ 1.6 billion

Gail Miller, current owner and chair of the Utah Jazz Board of Directors. Chris Gardner / Getty Images

The NBA’s Utah Jazz will be sold to Ryan Smith, CEO and founder of Qualtrics, the team announced Wednesday. The sale is worth an estimated $ 1.6 billion, according to ESPN.

The Jazz have been owned by Larry H. Miller Management Corporation and controlled by Gail Miller since 1986, when she and her husband bought the team for $ 22 million.

Ryan Smith’s Qualtrics is an experience management company that was acquired by SAP SAP, -5.35% for $ 8 billion in 2019.

“I have known Ryan for several years and I admire the values ​​by which he and his wife Ashley live their lives,” Gail Miller said in a statement Wednesday. “They have a lot of love and a connection to Utah and this team. Due to our friendship and several high-level conversations over the years, Ryan recently approached our organization to inquire about the possibility of purchasing the Utah Jazz and some of our other sports and entertainment properties. After much introspection, lengthy discussions, and extensive evaluations of our long-term goals, my family and I decided that this was the right time to pass our responsibility and the treasured 35-year administration to Ryan and Ashley. “

Included in the $ 1.6 billion sale are the Utah Jazz franchise, Vivint Arena (where the team plays), the Salt Lake City Stars, NBA G League affiliates of Jazz, and the Salt Lake Bees, Triple-Baseball affiliates. TO.

The Utah Jazz were recently valued at $ 1.55 billion by Forbes.

Qualtrics is based in Provo, Utah, which is less than 50 miles from where the Jazz play in Salt Lake City.

The NBA board of governors must formally approve the sale.