According to numerous reports, the Maloofs have agreed to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the franchise of the Sacramento Kings to a group that would relocate the team to Seattle. Report after the jump…
According to Marc Stein at ESPN.com:
The Maloof family that owns the Sacramento Kings has reached an agreement to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the franchise to a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that NBA teams were formally notified Sunday night that the Kings have been valued at $525 million and that the parties have executed a purchase agreement, which still requires league approval.
The agreement to transfer the 65 percent majority stake in the Kings to the Seattle group represents the 53 percent owned by the Maloofs and an additional 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich. Sources said that there has not yet been an agreement submitted on the remaining 35 percent of the franchise, which is held by minority shareholders, not the Maloofs.
One source close to the process told ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande that the Maloof family, as it was hoping, will retain a “small piece” of minority interest in the franchise after its expected relocation to Seattle and renaming as the SuperSonics for next season. It’s believed, though, that the Maloofs will hold no decision-making power once control of the franchise is transferred.
The deal, according to sources familiar with the specifics, calls for the Maloofs to receive a non-refundable $30 million deposit from the Seattle group by Feb. 1. The NBA, furthermore, is fully expecting Hansen to apply for relocation to Seattle for the 2013-14 season by the league’s March 1 deadline, enabling the league’s board of governors to vote on the application at their annual April meeting.