OAKLAND, CA -- As it turns out, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov will not be the next owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors announced Thursday that a group led by Bay Area businessman and Boston Celtics minority owner Joseph Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment Group CEO Peter Guber purchased the team for an NBA-record $450 million.
“We pushed hard all the way to the end but could not see clear to bid the $450 million ask/purchase price,” Mastrov said in a statement. “We wish the new owners well with this great franchise.”
It was reported last weekend that Mastrov and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison were the final two bidders for the Warriors. However, Marcus Thompson II of the Oakland Tribune wrote Tuesday on his blog that Mastrov “wasn’t at the proverbial table” in the final sale discussions. That left Ellison as the leading candidate, and many view the sale to Lacob and Guber as a surprise. The sale must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, and Lacob must give up his share of the Celtics.
Reports surfaced in March of Mastrov’s interest in owning the Warriors. Mastrov, a Bay Area native, is the co-founder of New Evolution Fitness Co. (NEFC), Lafayette, CA.
In 2005, Mastrov sold 24 Hour to Forstmann Little and Co. for $1.68 billion. He stayed on with the San Ramon, CA-based company until he resigned as chairman of the board in 2008. NEFC operates club companies such as Crunch and UFC Gym. This year, NEFC partnered with Steve Nash Sports Club to purchase Canada’s Fitness World.