Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, Steve Nash seal Mallorca takeover
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and ex-NBA star Steve Nash are part of a group which has taken control of Spanish club Real Mallorca.
Sources told ESPN in December that the duo were working on a deal, and it was confirmed on Monday that the Segunda Division side have now been taken over by the group, under the name Liga ACQ Legacy Partners.
Mallorca were relegated from the Primera Division in 2013 after 16 consecutive seasons in the top flight and the club has been wracked by financial and institutional turmoil through recent years, including bitter public battles between competing shareholders.
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Fans of the Palma-based club will be hopeful that the arrival of Sarver -- who also holds a share of MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps -- and well-known football fan Nash will herald a fresh start for a team currently lying joint 18th in the Segunda table.
Reports in the Spanish media claim that two-time NBA MVP Nash will have an important day-to-day role at the club.
Ex-Brighton midfielder-turned-football law expert Maheta Molango is also involved with the new owners, while former Liverpool and Real Madrid player Steve McManaman, who is based locally, is a well-known friend of Nash and could now join the group formally.
The change in ownership was carried out via a capital investment of just over €20 million, according to a club statement released when the deal was completed between Sarver and outgoing owner Utz Claassen.
"The Administrative Council of Real Mallorca SAD in today's meeting has implemented the capital expansion agreed at the AGM last November 30 of 2015," the statement said. "The company LIGA ACQ LEGACY PARTNERS LLC has carried out their right to preferential subscription for 549,867 shares, paying out €20,620,012.50. This action will multiply by four the social capital of Real Mallorca. The company LIGA ACQ LEGACY PARTNERS LLC is formed by a group of experienced NBA owners, Robert Sarver, Andy Kohlberg and Steve Nash, two times NBA MVP."
Through last year Sarver was linked with purchasing Scottish club Rangers, as well as La Liga outfits Getafe and Levante, although none of these deals were successfully completed.
Sarver's Suns have endured a turmoil-filled season in their attempts to halt a five-season playoff drought. The franchise, once the most popular sports team in Phoenix, has struggled since Nash's departure in the summer of 2012.