via Sac Bee:
You might ask yourself what in the world could possibly stop a deal with $525 million dollars on the line? We’ll the answer is easy – a possible counteroffer from America’s third richest man who valued to be worth over $40 billion. That’s right, pennies. Larry Ellison (CEO of Oracle), is one of the titans of Silicon Valley, is expected to meet soon with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson about the Kings situation, according to Kings minority owner Bob Cook. Looks like Mayor Johnson kept his word. Don’t celebrate too soon Seattle.
The Maloofs’ plan to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group ran into a pair of hurdles Thursday – a possible counteroffer from America’s third richest man and a potential legal challenge from at least one of the Maloofs’ own limited partners.
Larry Ellison, one of the titans of Silicon Valley, is expected to meet soon with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson about the Kings situation, according to Kings minority owner Bob Cook.
With Cook complaining the Maloofs have improperly shut limited partners out of the bidding, Ellison’s potential interest in the team ramps up the drama even higher. The software tycoon is worth $41 billion and was an unsuccessful bidder for the Golden State Warriors in 2010.
Cook said he asked a Bay Area sports attorney to broker the meeting between Ellison and Johnson, and he expects it will occur soon. The mayor has been recruiting deep-pocketed “whales” to present a competing bid to the NBA that he hopes would derail the Maloofs’ pending sale to an investor group that would move the team to Seattle.
A spokeswoman for Ellison declined comment. The mayor’s office issued this statement: “Out of respect for the private nature of these conversations, we are not commenting on any of the ongoing discussions with potential equity partners, real or imagined.”
If he does bid, Ellison apparently would be operating independently of the potential partnership between billionaire Ron Burkle and Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov. An investment banker who knows Burkle and a business partner of Mastrov’s say the two men are seriously considering their own run for the Kings at the mayor’s urging.