Seattle Based Consortium Agree Deal to Buy Sacramento Kings

By Community | January 21, 2013

Sacramento Kings current owners, The Maloofs have agreed a deal to sell the NBA team to a Seattle based group.

A source close to the situation said Sunday that the Maloof family and the Seattle group, led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer, could announce a deal as early as today. If the sale is approved by the NBA’s board of governors, consisting of league owners, the team would move to Seattle next season and would be renamed the SuperSonics, after the franchise that left Seattle for Oklahoma City in 2008.

A sale price wasn’t released, but Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has said he believes the Maloofs were working on a deal that would value the entire franchise at $525 million. The Maloofs and a partner in Oklahoma control 65 percent of the team. The Maloof family declined to comment through a spokesman Sunday night, and Hansen’s representative couldn’t be reached for comment.

The price would be a record for an NBA team. ESPN.com, quoting anonymous sources, said Hansen has agreed to give the Maloofs a $30 million nonrefundable down payment and allow them to keep a small ownership stake in the team.

Sacramento officials, however, vowed to press on with their plan to assemble a counteroffer that would keep the Kings from leaving. Johnson plans to bring a rival investor group to the board of governors’ meeting in New York in April and make the case for keeping the team in Sacramento. The board would then presumably vote on which city would get the Kings – Seattle or Sacramento.

“When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win,” the mayor said Sunday night in a prepared statement.