View Full Version : Golden State Warriors to fetch NBA Record Price Tag

07-14-2010, 07:47 PM
As of late Wednesday afternoon, there was still no deal on the sale of the Golden State Warriors between owner Chris Cohan and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

According to a source, Cohan has an offer on the table -- one that exceeds $400 million -- but he is holding up the deal in the hope of bumping up the sales price even further. Ellison, along with the current minority owners of the Warriors, remains the frontrunner to buy the franchise, but another candidate remains in the mix.

A Warriors source told CSNBayArea.com on Tuesday that Mandalay Entertainment Group chairman Peter Guber was the other finalist. Also involved in that group is Joe Lacob, currently a minority owner with the Boston Celtics.

Mark Mastrov, founder of 24-Hour Fitness, is no longer in the running, according to multiple sources.

The source who said Cohan is delaying the process did indicate the situation is fluid and that things could change quickly. However, at this time the source said there was concern about getting the deal done by the weekend.

The initial report about a pending announcement came from a Twitter post of Sports Business Journal reporter Daniel Kaplan, who wrote that the group that will purchase the team from Cohan would receive word of its winning bid by the end of Tuesday.

Later Tuesday, a separate Warriors source said that while negotiations seemed to be close, it was premature to assume the deal would be done by then. That source couldnít confirm that Ellison would be the new owner.

One thing seems certain: If a deal does get done it will top the $401 million that the Phoenix Suns fetched in 2004, the highest purchase price for an NBA franchise.

Ellison, one of the richest men in the world, has been interested in buying the Warriors for several years, but it wasnít until March that it became a possibility. Thatís when Cohan announced the team was for sale and, that Galatioto Sports Partners would be in charge of the sale.

According to numerous reports, there were approximately 12 potential buyers early in the process, and from there it was whittled down to four: the Ellison consortium, Guberís Mandalay Entertainment Group, Wall Street moneyman David Bonderman and 24 Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov.

Ellison watched his first game at the Arena that bears his companyís name when he attended a Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers game in early January, sitting in the first row opposite the Golden State bench.

Later that month, he told financial analysts at a conference that he was trying to buy the Warriors but that ďunfortunately, you canít have a hostile takeover of a basketball team.Ē

Ellison already owns BMW Oracle Racing, the American sailing group that won the Americaís Cup off Valencia Spain.

Cohan purchased majority control of the Warriors for $119 million in October 1994 from Dan Finnane and Jim Fitzgerald. The Warriors have had just two winning seasons and one playoff appearance during Cohanís ownership reign.

In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service said Cohan owed more than $160 million in back income taxes. That ruling has prompted many to speculate that Cohan is motivated to sell. But as of late Wednesday afternoon, that hadnít happened.



07-14-2010, 07:54 PM
Why don't you hold off on the NBA forum threads about Ellison until it's actually sold there, turbo.

I'm as eager as anyone to get it inked, but this thread is going nowhere until it's done.