Ron Burkle, the billionaire investor contemplating a bid to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep them in town, is also part of a group in the running to purchase arena conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group.
Billboard magazine reported on its website that Burkle is teaming with Los Angeles investor Patrick Soon-Shiong and investment bank Goldman Sachs on a bid for AEG.
A longtime friend of Burkle's, Los Angeles investment banker Lloyd Greif , confirmed Burkle's interest in AEG and said it would not interfere with his possible bid for the Kings.
"He can do two deals at once, he can do ten deals at once," Greif told The Bee.
Burkle is considering teaming with Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov in a bid for the team that would be presented to the NBA as a counter-offer to the Maloof family's pending sale of the franchise to a Seattle group.
Burkle has told NBA Commissioner David Stern that he's interested in a plan that would convert Downtown Plaza into a new arena.
AEG, meanwhile, could have a role to play in the Sacramento drama. The global arena operator confirmed recently, at Stern's urging, that it's still interested in building a facility in downtown Sacramento.
AEG had pledged $59 million toward construction of a new Kings arena at the downtown railyard site. The plan was approved by Stern but abandoned by the Maloofs last April.
Last month, AEG President Tim Leiweke said the company is still committed to a downtown Sacramento arena, regardless of location, if the Kings stay in town.
Billboard said Guggenheim Partners, the financial firm that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, is also in the running for AEG, as is a group led by Colony Capital and the Qatar Sovereign Fund.
The Financial Times reported that Westfield Corp. - the former owner of Downtown Plaza - is also bidding for AEG. Westfield sold the downtown mall last summer.
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