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July 15, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, July 15, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce the signing of a Purchase Agreement for the sale of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA franchise based in Oakland, California, to an investor group led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Managing Partner Joe Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment Group Chairman Peter Guber. The sale price is $450 million, a record price for a NBA team. The sale is subject to final closing and NBA approval.
Covington’s sports transactions group represented Warriors owner Christopher Cohan and his ownership entity as the sellers in the transaction. The Covington team was led by corporate partners Peter Zern and Bruce Wilson, assisted by corporate associates Scott Roades and Leah Graham. Other team participants included partners Mike Francese (benefits) and Jeremy Spector (tax), together with of counsel Heather Haberl and associates Mary DeYoung and Bobby Lutzker.
“As I conclude my tenure as owner of the Warriors, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude, and to personally say thank you to the ‘best fans in all of sports,’” said Warriors owner Christopher Cohan. “It’s a phrase that is too often utilized by players, coaches, executives and owners in all sports leagues, but I can say without reservation and unbridled conviction that Warriors fans have earned the sole right of that honor and distinction. Thank you for making Golden State Warriors basketball the incredible fan experience that it has become.”
“We were delighted to have this opportunity to work with Christopher Cohan and his organization, and with his advisors from Galatioto Sports Partners. We see the sales process and this agreement as a strong sign of the continued strength of franchise values in the NBA and the sports industry generally,” said Covington’s Wilson.
The Warriors were advised in the sale by Galatioto Sports Partners, and the buyers were advised by Game Plan LLC and represented by the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
The sale of the Warriors is the latest in a string of major sports transactions handled by Covington in 2010. In April, the firm advised Turner Broadcasting on a $10.8 billion, 14-year television and new media rights agreement with the NCAA and CBS Sports to present the Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship. Covington is also representing the NFL in its groundbreaking sponsorship and content deal with Verizon wireless, the National Hockey League in the sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Independent Advisory Committee to the U.S. Olympic Committee in its assessment of the board structure and operations model of the USOC.