Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Vivek Ranadive – founder of the multi-billion dollar software company Tibco and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors – has emerged as a new figure who could take the lead for the Sacramento group previously spearheaded by Mark Mastrov. Amick's source spoke on the condition of anonymity because there has been no official agreement as of yet.
Amick writes that while Mastrov and Ron Burkle are still involved in both the bid for the team and plans for a downtown arena, Ranadive agreed to enter the picture after strong efforts to have a larger influence in personnel matters. In order for Ranadive to purchase the team, he would first have to sell his minority stake in the Warriors. Yahoo's Marc J. Spears tweets that the Tibco CEO will only sell his share of Golden State if the city of Sacramento is able to retain the Kings. Otherwise, he would keep his investment with the Warriors.
Having another 'whale investor' can't hurt Sacramento's effort to keep the Kings, especially after David Stern recently commented that the initial bid offered by the Mastrov-led group was short of being a competitive offer. Amick mentions that although Kings minority owner John Kehriotis has been planning a bid of his own, Ranadive will be joining Mastrov and Burkle with Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, who will try to persuade owners at the NBA Board of Governors meeting in April to block the approval of the sale agreed upon by the Maloof Brothers and the Chris Hansen-led Seattle group.
Amick identifies other issues that would need to be addressed, namely the $77MM in loans that the Maloofs owe the city of Sacramento, along with the non-refundable $30MM that the Maloofs received from the Seattle group as a deposit for the team's sale earlier this month.