Kings owners reach deal to sell team to Seattle group
Sacramento, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Sacramento Kings owners have reached an agreement to sell the team to a group that would move it to Seattle.
Sources said the Maloof family has approved a deal with a Seattle group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer.
An announcement regarding the deal could be made anytime this week after several days of intense negotiations.
The final sale price was not immediately known but it was earlier reported that the Hansen group was offering $525 million for the team, a record for an NBA franchise.
The Hansen group would move the team to Seattle in time for the next NBA season.
Any sale and relocation requires the approval of the NBA’s Board of Governors, consisting of league owners.
The Maloofs bought controlling interest in 1999 from Jim Thomas and led the team to several successes.
However, the family has been hit with enormous economic setbacks in recent years and seriously considered moving the Kings to Anaheim in 2011.
Only recently, the family negotiated with a group to move the Kings to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The family declined comment on the sale reports through a spokesman.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is planning to propose a counter-offer in which a rival group would buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento.
Johnson mentioned Mark Mastrov, the founder of the 24 Hour Fitness chain and supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle as possible suitors for the Kings.
City officials have said they would offer a Kings buyer the same arena deal rejected by the Maloofs last spring, including $255 million in public subsidies.
Johnson believes he can convince the league to reject the Seattle proposal and keep the team in Sacramento.