Latest reports from the sports industry suggest that two venture capital investors have approached Phoenix Suns and Mercury basketball teams with a 3 billion dollar takeover deal. Wall Street Journal reports that a takeover bid has been submitted by Jack Selby, managing director of Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital, and Jason Pressman who is managing director of Shasta Ventures.
Thiel Capital is an investment firm based in San Francisco.
Selby, Pressman, and others participating in the bid met with Sun’s management on Wednesday, according to the report. They are among a handful of potential buyers, according to the report.
Second-round bids are due in January, WSJ reported. If successful, it will be one of the biggest acquisitions of a club in the National Basketball Association.
Phoenix Suns and Mercury teams are currently owned by American businessman Robert Gary Sarver. Robert Sarver in 2004 purchased Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association for 401 million dollars. In the same year, Robert Saver also purchased the Women’s National Basketball Association team, Phoenix Mercury.
Mr Sarver announced a few months ago that he is planning to sell stakes in Phoenix Suns and Mercury, and is looking for potential buyers. Robert Sarver has been under immense pressure to step down from management of the basketball teams after an investigation found he used racist slurs and harassed female employees.
Various former employees and associates at the basketball teams have accused Mr Sarver of racist and misogynistic behavior. He even allegedly forced a team coach to fire a minority agent. Former players, staff, and agents have also come against Robert Sarver saying that he has been an interventionist owner who used to make decisions about team play just with authority without any expertise in the field.
Following an investigation, National Basketball Association fined him 10 million dollars and suspended him from NBA and WNBA for 1 year. The investigation proved that he used a racist slur at least five times in public.