Maloofs Reach Deal To Sell Kings To Seattle Group

January 20 2013 at 11:25pm CST By Alex Lee

11:25pm: The 65 percent stake in the franchise is made up of the Maloof's ownership in addition to one minority owner, clarifies Stein, further adding that the NBA is expected to approve in order "to end this saga."  Even with all of these details coming in, it is worth noting that Sacramento mayor (and former NBAer) Kevin Johnson was told by David Stern last week that he could present a counter offer for the Kings directly to the league's Board of Governors. 

Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee, per a Johnson advisor, tweets that the mayor's camp considered this deal "fairly expected."  Jason Jones of the Bee tweeted a statement released by the mayor's office: 

"Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a Top 20 market and owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history. When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win. In particular, we have been focused like a laser on identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL."

11:07pm: The $525MM is a valuation of the total franchise, tweets Wojnarowski, meaning that the Seattle group will pay approximately $340MM for their 65 percent stake.  While it is far less than $800MM, the $525MM valuation is still significantly more than the $300MM Forbes figure listed below.

10:56pm: Now that the sale is finalized, the NBA's relocation committee will approve the franchise's move to Seattle for next season, tweets Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, calling the process from here a "formality."  Wojnarowski adds that the plan has always been to reclaim the "Sonics" name upon returning to Seattle.  The deal was struck over the weekend of January 5th-6th, reports Wojnarowski, and by then Kevin Johnson's attempt to halt the process was too late.  ESPN's J.A. Adande confirms Stein's report and tweets that the Maloofs will retain a small piece of the team.

10:32pm: The Maloofs have reached an agreement to sell 65 percent of the Kings to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen for $525MM, reports ESPN's Marc Stein (via Twitter).  Stein also tweets that the deal still requires "formal NBA ratification," but should it go through, the Hansen group intends to file for relocation by the league's March 1 deadline.  The figure reported by Stein implies the franchise is worth north of $800MM.  About a year ago, Forbes valued the Kings at $300MM. 

As for the remaining 35 percent of the franchise, Stein's sources tell him that no agreement has been reached and that portion of the ownership is made up of minority investors, which obviously does not include the Maloofs.  However, Stein reports that the Maloofs will receive a non-refundable $30MM deposit from the Hansen group regardless of whether sale is approved.  According to Tony Bizjak, a reporter from the Sacramento Bee, the Kings have declined to comment. 

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