Tech and basketball, a sequel: The new majority owner of the Sacramento Kings is a team led by Tibco Software Chairman and CEO Vivek Ranadive, pending approval. Other tech names on the 30-strong buyers’ team, according to the Associated Press: Former Facebook exec Chris Kelly, and the Jacobs family, owners of Qualcomm.
How did Ranadive et al score the Kings deal, which means the team will stay in Sacramento? They vowed to build a new $250 million arena for the team, according to ESPN. The deal values the team at a record$535 million. They beat out a bid led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and another tech bigwig, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, which would have meant moving the team to Seattle.
Ranadive, who is a part owner of the Golden State Warriors (along with Kleiner Perkins’ Joseph Lacob), will have to give up his stake in the Oakland team. The native of India who says he came to Boston with $50 in his pocket and went on to start Palo Alto-based Tibco once told the Mercury News: “I believe basketball will be the global sport of the 21st century.”
Silicon Valley’s fortune-ate has long had a love affair with basketball. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s name had been thrown around as a possible Kings buyer, Steve Johnson wrote for SiliconBeat earlier this year. Ellison has tried to buy a basketball team at least a couple times, including the Warriors and the New Orleans Hornets. And last year, hoops lover Ubiquiti Networks CEO Robert Pera led the team that bought the Memphis Grizzlies, the Merc’s Brandon Bailey reported.
Photo of Vivek Ranadive by Patrick Tehan/Mercury News