Seattle Group Ups Sacramento Kings Purchase Offer

April 15, 2013

An investor group seeking to move the NBA’s Sacramento Kings to Seattle has raised its offer to $550 million, the hedge fund manager behind the offer said.

The Seattle group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer announced Friday night they had reached agreement with the Maloof family to raise the purchase price of the Kings by $25 million to an NBA-record $550 million.

The revised bid comes in advance of a National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors meeting to be held on Thursday and Friday, where a decision is expected on whether to have the team stay in Sacramento, California, or award it to Seattle by allowing the investor group to buy it from the Maloof family.

A rival investor group is seeking to buy the Kings and keep them in California’s capital city.

The group plans to rename the Kings the Seattle Supersonics, in a recast version of the NBA franchise that made Seattle home from 1967 until it moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, lined up investors to make a counter offer. Last month, Sacramento officials announced they had reached a $450 million deal with private developers to build an entertainment and sports complex they hope will keep the Kings from leaving for Seattle.