The NBA has approved Arctos Sports Partners’ purchase of approximately 5% of the Golden State Warriors, according to multiple people familiar with the sale. The deal, believed to be the first private equity investment in an NBA franchise, values the team at roughly $5.5 billion.
Sportico first reported on the deal last month. The NBA and Arctos declined to comment. The Warriors didn’t immediately return a request seeking comment.
The NBA loosened its rules to allow institutional investors in January. The league’s Board of Governors agreed that private equity and other types of institutional investors may own up to 20% equity in a single franchise, and that funds may own stakes in a maximum of five teams.
Sportico reported in January that no franchise can have more than 30% of its equity held by investment funds, no matter how many funds own a stake in the team, according to the people familiar with the owners’ decision. They asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on behalf of the league. The NBA declined to comment through a spokesperson.
Arctos was co-founded by private equity veteran Ian Charles and former MSG CEO David “Doc” O’Connor. The firm had about $900 millions in assets at the end of last year, with plans to invest across sports franchises. That amount has now grown to $1.4 billion in debut funds.
The Warriors are the second most valuable team in the NBA, according to Sportico’s rankings, which pegged the value of the team, which opened a new San Francisco arena in 2019, at $5.21 billion.
(This story has corrected updated the amount of capital raised by Arctos in the fifth paragraph.)