City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 21, 2013
Third big investor emerges in bid for Sacramento Kings

By Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis
tbizjak@sacbee.com

In an apparent effort to add more financial heft to their bid for the Sacramento Kings, Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle have recruited Vivek Ranadive, chairman and chief executive of a $1 billion-a-year Silicon Valley software company, to be the new leader in their bid to buy the team.

Ranadive is also a limited partner and vice chairman of the Golden State Warriors - the team Mastrov tried to buy in 2010.

A source close to the arena effort, but who is not authorized to speak on the record, said Ranadive has been talking with Mastrov for several months about joining Mastrov's bid to buy the Kings.

Ranadive's emergence came as city officials were laboring to complete a term sheet containing the elements of a deal with Mastrov and Burkle for a new arena in Downtown Plaza. City officials had planned to have that term sheet completed by this afternoon.

Ranadive is jumping in nearly two weeks after NBA Commissioner David Stern said the Mastrov-Burkle initial offer for the Kings was too low. He said it was considerably less than the reported $341 million the Maloof family has accepted from investors who want to move the Kings to Seattle.

After Stern's announcement, Mastrov vowed to "win the bid" but has declined to say if he would put up more money. The offer has been forwarded by the NBA - as a "back-up offer" - to the Maloof family. A spokesman for the Maloofs declined comment on the offer.

The India-born Ranadive, 55, is chairman and chief executive of TIBCO Software, a $1 billion-a-year company in Palo Alto. He controls about 8 percent of the publicly traded company, putting his holdings at $318 million. It's unclear what his total net worth is.

The company's software is used in automation, data analysis and e-commerce. Its customers have included Yahoo, Sun Microsystems and CBS Sportsline.

"In their space, they're one of the big players," said Rob Enderle, a Silicon Valley technology consultant. "It's a good-sized firm." Revenue has grown 58 percent in the past four years.

The Harvard and MIT graduate has written three books on business in the past 14 years, including a New York Times bestseller.

Stern wrote a blurb promoting Ranadive's latest book, "The Two-Second Advantage," released in 2011. Stern wrote that the book "artfully explores how having the right information...can place you ahead of the game."

A New Yorker magazine article in 2009, titled "How David Beats Goliath: When Underdogs Break the Rules," describes how Ranadive guided his daughter's under-sized Little League basketball team to the national championships by playing full-court press, "all game, every game."

Mayor Kevin Johnson said in a statement that Ranadive's involvement marks a "historic moment and it's appropriate that it's happening here in Sacramento, one of the most diverse cities in the country. ...Vivek takes an already strong ownership group to the next level."

Ranadive would have to sell his share of the Warriors if the Kings bid is successful.

VIDEO: Biography - Vivek Ranadivé, TIBCO Founder and CEO, by TIBCO Software

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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