Group linked to Thiel reportedly bids $3 billion to buy Phoenix Suns
A pair of venture capitalists with links to tech mogul Peter Thiel submitted a bid worth $3 billion to buy the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Thiel Capital managing director Jack Selby and Shasta Ventures managing director Jason Pressman submitted the bid.
Selby, who was an early executive at PayPal, has been an Arizona resident since 2002 and has a $110 million venture fund to help startups in the state.
Selby and Pressman are the only people listed on the bid but according to the publication are gathering around 10 more for a potential ownership group. Private-equity and sovereign wealth funds could also join the group of buyers.
Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, is a founder of Thiel Capital. He is mentioned by the Wall Street Journal as a potential financier but under the offer sheet would become a “significant shareholder” of the team if it sells to the group.
According to the report, the pair last Wednesday visited the Suns’ arena and practice facility and were hosted by the Suns president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones.
The group is among a “handful of potential buyers” who must submit a second round of bids by January, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Ultimately, the decision on who acquires the Suns will be on suspended owner Robert Sarver, who announced he was selling the teams in September.
That came about a week after the NBA published the findings of an investigation into Sarver’s workplace habits that included bullying, use of racist language and misogynistic behavior.
Minority owner Sam Garvin has taken the leadership role of interim governor to run the business and basketball operations in Sarver’s place.