SBJ/20100913/This Weeks Issue

Vote on sale of Golden State Warriors expected at October meeting

NBA owners are expected to vote on the sale of the Golden State Warriors by the end of October. A vote to approve the deal would finalize the $450 million price, which would stand as a record for an NBA franchise.

The Warriors’ sale, to a group led by venture capitalist Joseph Lacob and including Mandalay Entertainment Group Chief Executive Officer Peter Guber, was announced in July, with no timetable given for NBA ownership approval. But a source familiar with the deal said Lacob and his group should have financing completed by October, clearing the way for a vote by the NBA board of governors at meetings set for Oct. 20-21 in New York City. At least three-fourths of the NBA’s 30 owners must approve the deal

The group led by Lacob, managing partner for the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, outbid three other suitors for the team. The sale is structured to include $300 million in equity put up by the partnership, with $150 million in debt assumed by the new owners, according to a source.

Sal Galatioto, whose Galatioto Sports Partners represented outgoing Warriors owner Chris Cohan in the sale, refused to comment on the deal. Cohan paid $115 million for the Warriors in 1995.

The $450 million sale would far eclipse the NBA franchise sales record of $401 million paid by Robert Sarver for the Phoenix Suns in 2004.

Lacob, who owns a minority stake in the Boston Celtics, must either sell that stake or put his interest in escrow, in order to win NBA approval.

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