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League approves Grizzlies sale

NBA Commissioner David Stern attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
NBA Commissioner David Stern attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

(Reuters) - The National Basketball Association (NBA) board of governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Memphis Grizzlies to an investor group led by Robert Pera, the league said on Thursday.

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley in June reached an agreement to sell the franchise to Californian businessman Pera and his group.

"We are delighted that the NBA's board of governors has approved Robert Pera's purchase of the Grizzlies," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement.

"Robert will no doubt bring great energy and passion to the franchise. He has assembled an ownership group with very strong local ties, and we anticipate that their commitment to the Memphis area will greatly benefit both the team and the community."

Heisley purchased the Grizzlies in 2000 when it was located in Vancouver. Since relocating to Memphis in 2001, the team has participated in the playoffs in five seasons.

The team is coming off its two most successful NBA campaigns including the 2011-12 season when Memphis finished fourth in the Western Conference before losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round of the playoffs.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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