The World Cup is down to two teams vying for the prize, and so is the candidates list of candidates to buy the Warriors franchise.
According to sources with knowledge of the negotiation, the four finalists groups submitted purchase of sale agreements with their offer. Two of the finalists groups were outbid and knocked out of the process. Warriors owner Chris Cohan, who hired Galiatoto Sports Partners to sell the franchise, could choose the winning bidder from the remaining two groups by August.
What is not reported in my story in today’s paper (I confirmed waaaaay after deadline) is that the group headed by CEO founder Mark Mastrov is one of the finalists, according to a source, who also confirmed that Mastrov’s bid topped $350 million. The other finalist?
Nothing I have been told leads me to believe Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, the man everyone expects to end up owning the Warriors, is out of the mix. My reporter’s hunch is that he is one of the finalists. But I have not confirmed that.
I have previously reported the field was down to four finalists:
* a group headed by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison
* a group led by former 24-Hour Fitness CEO Mark Mastrov
* a group headed by Texas-based Wall Street financier David Bonderman
* a group that includes Mandalay Entertainment chairman Peter Guber.
Who do you think is joining Mastrov in the finals?
Currently, one of the sources said, the remainig two purchase of sale agreements are being refined and tweaked. That process could include a revised offer. From what I’m told about the process, the bidders aren’t (supposed to be) aware of what opponents bid, so any revision of the offer would be based on how the purchase of sale agreement is tweaked or if the bidder thinks he needs to jump higher to get the franchise. After the purchase of sale agreement is finalized, Cohan will choose one and submit to the league to start the approval process.
Either way, one source said Cohan is extremely confident, even more than before, that the franchise will go for more than $401 million, which is the record price for an NBA franchise – set by Robert Sarver when he bought the Phoenix Suns.
One source said the six year, $80 million contract the Warriors gave power forward David Lee did not negatively impact the process. The bidding groups were informed of the process and none expressed concern about it. Some even liked it, a source said.