The owners of the Golden State Warriors approached the NBA for approval to sell a minority stake in the franchise to a publicly traded blank-check company that had partnered with a private equity firm.
The unidentified institutional buyers had the support of Silicon Valley tycoon Chamath Palihapitiya, a minority owner in the Warriors, and were confident they would be approved.
The NBA’s Advisory/Finance Committee put off a decision and the Warriors withdrew the request under the assumption it would not be approved.
There are now five SPACs looking to buy stakes in professional sports franchises. Frustration is mounting among some NBA owners that the NBA has been slow to work on a solution to sell to these entities.
“The pressure on Adam [Silver] is extreme,” a source close to the NBA office said.
Joe Lacob is now speaking only to private equity firms in his efforts to sell a stake of at least 5 percent of the pandemic-fueled money-losing team, including billionaire Howard Marks’ Oaktree Capital Management, sources said.
The NBA is concerned that SPAC ownership could lead to league financials getting revealed via public filings.