Kings Sale To Sacramento Group Not Yet Finalized

TUESDAY, 2:12pm: Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link) hears that the finance committee will vote on the sale of the Kings early this week, with an official vote by the full Board of Governors coming before the end of May.

MONDAY, 1:45pm: Ranadive doesn't formally own the NBA team yet, tweets Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee, pointing out that the team will move forward with the Maloofs' plan to send coach Keith Smart to the draft lottery. Windhorst has deleted his tweet from yesterday, so perhaps Johnson jumped the gun in saying that Ranadive had assumed control of the franchise. In any case, Ranadive and company remain on track to take over the Kings.

SUNDAY, 1:33pm: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson says NBA owners have approved the sale of the Kings to the Sacramento-based group headed by Vivek Ranadive, tweets Brian Windhorst of The league had been expected to make a formal announcement of the deal between the Maloof family and Ranadive's group this week, although it was thought that escrow would not close until the end of the month. In any case, Ranadive now has control of the franchise, according to Johnson.

There's usually a much longer gap between the time an agreement on a sale is reached and the point when the purchase becomes official. Last year, Robert Pera agreed to buy the Grizzlies in June, but didn't take control of the team until October 31st. An official announcement from the league has yet to come, but it's not entirely surprising the process was expedited this time around, since the league had a chance to thoroughly vet Ranadive's bid as it sorted out whether to allow the Kings to move to Seattle. 

Johnson said earlier this week that the agreement had been "signed on both ends" and that the "money has been wired," so it looked like the green light from the league was the last step in the process. Ranadive was a relative late-comer in an effort that began in earnest in January, around the time the Maloofs reached a deal to sell the team to Seattle investor Chris Hansen and his partners. Johnson spearheaded the effort to put the group together, combining $1MM commitments from 20 Sacramento-area locals with the larger financial backing of deep-pocketed "whales," including Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle. Mastrov became the lead investor, but Burkle, an enemy of the Maloofs, proved a stumbling block, and as he faded from the picture, Ranadive took over the primary reigns of the bid.

The Sacramento group's final purchase price for the Kings is based on a full valuation of the team at $535MM, an NBA record and $10MM greater than Hansen's initial offer. The Maloofs' share is 65%, so that works out to a $347.75MM sum that's changing hands. Hansen and company upped their valuation of the club to $625MM, but ultimately lost out, spending more than $100MM on an ill-fated effort to buy the team.

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