Golden State Warriors Sell for Record $450 Million
Joe Lacob, managing partner at private equity firm Kleiner Perkins, and Peter Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment, have won the bid for the NBA's Golden State Warriors, a source close to the sale has told CNBC.
The price for the team is $450 million, beating the previous NBA record—$401 million, which was the amount Robert Sarver paid for the Phoenix Suns in 2004.
Lacob and Guber beat out rival bidder Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle.
Lacob bought a share of the Boston Celtics in 2006. Guber's Mandalay Entertainment owns and operates minor league teams, including two affiliates of the New York Yankees.
The Warriors franchise, which was bought by Chris Cohan in 1995 for $119 million, was valued at $315 million by Forbes in December of last year, but the Warriors' location in the Bay area undoubtedly added more interest and thus a higher price.
Mark Mastrov, founder of 24-Hour Fitness, was also considered a top competitor for the team.
The only formality is for the league’s Board of Governors to approve the new owners. Although the NBA owners are currently having their meetings in Las Vegas this week, there are no signals that an approval would come that quickly.
The Warriors on-the-court performance obviously didn’t have much bearing on the sale. Since Cohan bought the team 16 years ago, the team has had the second worst record in the league (behind the Los Angeles Clippers) over that time span.
Despite the fact that NBA commissioner David Stern has estimated that the league’s teams will lose $370 million from this past season, and the potential for a work stoppage after next season, the league recently has benefited from attracting the world’s richest to buy its teams. Russia’s richest man Mikhail Prokhorov was approved as owner of the New Jersey Nets in May.