The National Basketball Association gave the green light to the $450 million sale of the Golden State Warriors on Friday, marking the largest ever sale of an NBA franchise.
The NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Warriors from Chris Cohan to a group led by Joseph Lacob, a Menlo Park venture capitalist, and Peter Guver, who leads Mandalay Entertainment.
According to ESPN, it was the highest sale of an NBA franchise on record, topping the 2004 sale of the Phoenix Suns to Robert Sarver.
Fans of the Warriors, who haven't won an NBA title in a quarter century, will be hoping the new ownership team turns things around.
“The unmatched passion of this Bay Area fan base played a huge role in my pursuit of this dream come true, and I’m looking forward to a tremendous ride on our journey to the return to greatness,” Lacob said in a statement.
While the $450 million price tag on the Warriors was a reported record for a sale, its neighboring franchise to the north, the Los Angeles Lakers, are believed to be worth far more.
According to an annual ranking released by Forbes late last year, the Lakers are worth $607 million, followed by the New York Knicks at $586 million. The Warriors were listed at 18th overall at $315 million, a 6% decline from the previous year. The franchise’s 2009 revenue totaled $113 million in 2009 and its operating income was estimated at $11.9 million.
“I'm convinced that we have formed a passionate and well-diversified group. With the financial and intellectual commitment of the board members and investors, and Warriors fans as the truly key partners in this endeavor, we will not fail,” Guber said.
Miami-based investment bank Game Plan LLC represented the Lacob and Guver group. The NBA previously announced the agreement to sell the franchise on July 15.