Seattle Bidders Raise Offer By $25MM

SATURDAY, 10:38pm: According to Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler, and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento group refrained from delivering a counter to the Seattle investors' increased offer, looking at it as a move of desperation that "isn't much money in the grand scheme of things" and downplaying the notion that it will do anything to ultimately sway the NBA's decision.   

FRIDAY, 11:21pm: Hansen has released a brief statement on the Seattle bidders' website.

"While we already have a binding purchase agreement to purchase the controlling interest in the team, the Seattle Ownership Group has elected to voluntarily raise its purchase price as a sign of our commitment to bring basketball back to our City and our high degree of confidence in our Arena plan, our financing plan, the economic strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA," the statement reads in part.

11:09pm: Seattle's group has officially upped its offer by $25MM, a source tells Ian Thomsen of (Twitter link).

10:54pm: It's unlikely the NBA will allow a "bidding war," Bruski hears (Twitter link).

8:22pm: The Seattle investors are contemplating upping their bid by $25MM in reaction to the competition from Sacramento, tweets Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee.

6:40pm: The Sacramento bidders have no plans of adhering to the Maloofs' deadline, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who adds that the deadline primarily signals the Maloofs' acknowledgement that the league may block their move to Seattle. Meanwhile, the Sacramento group has withdrawn its claim to minority owner Bob Cook's 7% share of the team. The bidders were operating via minority owner Dave Luchetti, who had the right to exercise the right of first refusal to deny the share's sale to Hansen's group. Since the league will ultimately vote up or down on any sale of the 7% stake, this move simply shows the Sacramento group's desire to focus on the larger issue of the majority stake, Amick explains. 

5:20pm: The Maloofs still prefer to sell to Chris Hansen's group, and regard the Sacramento bid as a backup offer that they only intend to accept if the NBA rejects the Hansen sale, Aldridge writes

4:49pm: Both the NBA and the Sacramento group are operating on their own timelines at the moment, sources tell Aaron Bruski of (Twitter link).

3:54pm: The Maloofs have agreed to give the Sacramento group additional time beyond today's 5:00pm deadline to submit a competing offer, reports TNT's David Aldridge (via Twitter). Of course, as noted below, the Maloofs' deadline may ultimately not matter a whole lot, since the NBA isn't adhering to it.

3:47pm: The Sacramento investment group attempting to buy the Kings has informed the NBA that it will match the offer made by Chris Hansen's Seattle group, according to Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter). Sam Amick of USA Today first reported last night that the Sacramento group was expected to match the Seattle offer.

While Sacramento's bid for the Kings was described by commissioner David Stern at one point in the process as not quite up to par, the group has continued to add investors to a collective led by Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov. Lillis reports (via Twitter) that the Sacramento contingent has begun turning away potential investors hoping to be part of the ownership group, which would seem to suggest that the group has more than enough money behind it.

The NBA's owners are expected to vote on whether or not to approve the sale of the Kings to the Seattle group at next weekend's Board of Governors meetings. If the Seattle sale is denied, the Maloofs could then decide to either hang on to the team or negotiate a sale to the Sacramento group. Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee reported earlier today that if the Sacramento group matched Seattle's offer dollar for dollar, the Maloofs would "embrace an outcome that keeps the Kings in Sacramento."

Although it's not clear if the Sacramento contingent has officially submitted an offer to the NBA or the Maloofs yet, a bid won't necessarily have to come in by the 5:00pm deadline imposed by the Maloofs. According to Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link), that deadline isn't being enforced by the NBA.

We rounded up a few other updates on the Kings saga earlier this afternoon.


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