Several different sources reported on Sunday night that the owners of the Sacramento Kings have sold majority ownership of the Kings franchise to a Seattle investment group led by San Francisco hedge fund investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $525 million dollars.
An official announcement is expected early this week, possibly as early as Monday.
ESPN’s Marc Stein and Yahoo sportswriter Adrian Wojnarowski reported this breaking news late on Sunday. It was covered by S.I.com, Kiro T.V. and King5 in Seattle.
Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “The $525 million price is a “valuation” on the total franchise. For 65 percent, Seattle group would pay approximately $340 million.”
The S.I..com story states: “There is no agreement on the other 35 percent of shares, which are not owned by the Maloof brothers.” The Maloof family have been majority owners of the Sacramento Kings since the late 1990’s.
However, this Seattle Times story indicates that the sale would include a 53 percent share held by the current controlling owners of the Kings, the Maloof family, and a 12 percent share held by minority owner Bob Hernreich.
If the NBA approves the sale, the Seattle-based investment group will file for a bid for re-location before the March 1st deadline.
The new Seattle team would play in Seattle’s Key Arena for at least two years, beginning in late 2013 for the 2013-2014 season.
Chris Hansen has previously reported that he is willing to commit several millions of his own money to make some minor upgrades to Key Arena before an NBA franchise plays in Seattle.
Plans for a new $490 million dollar Seattle arena in the Sodo district of Seattle were already approved by local politicians but the new arena developers are facing a lawsuit from union workers representing the Port of Seattle.