Larry Ellison Makes Fast Break for Warrior Deal

Partnership with minority owners could help with due diligence

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Jun 7, 2010  |  Updated 10:06 PM PDT
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, center, has reportedly strengthened his bargaining position ahead of final bids on the Golden State Warriors due in early July.

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A little over three and a half weeks from now, Bay Area basketball fans may know who the new owners of the Golden State Warriors are.

That's because the four bidders being considered for the deal will have to submit their bids by that time.

In the meantime, they'll have an opportunity to review the team's finances and assets ahead of a sale, including any players picked during the NBA Draft on June 24.

Front-runner Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has even partnered with four businessmen who took a 20 percent minority stake in the team back in 2004, according to sources cited by Sports Illustrated.

That could mean that instead of paying full fare, Ellison could just buy out owner Chris Cohan's 80 percent stake, saving on cash costs up front and potentially getting an edge by reducing Cohan's tax liability on the sale.

What's unclear is what any intentions Ellison may have to move the team to San Francisco -- it's been long rumored that any new owners would look to get the team out of the arena at Oakland's aging Coliseum complex.

Jackson West, as a longtime fan of the Seattle Supersonics, feels for Oaklanders, but would probably go to more games if the team was in San Francisco.

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