Sacramento Group Reaches Deal To Buy Kings

FRIDAY, 9:47am: Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson tells the Sacramento Bee that the purchase agreement has been "signed on both ends" and that the "money has been wired." While the deal still has to close, Johnson doesn't anticipate any roadblocks.

"We're hoping to get it all done within the next week or so and the Board of Governors will vote and I don't anticipate any surprises," Johnson said.

THURSDAY, 11:29pm: The Sacramento investment group led by Vivek Ranadive has reached an agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings, according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. Bizjak reports that the deal is for an NBA-record valuation of $535MM, $10MM higher than the initial sale price on the Maloofs' agreement with Chris Hansen's Seattle group.

According to Bizjak, the agreement could be formally announced as soon as Friday, and will require approval by the NBA. Assuming the league approves the deal, which seems like a safe bet, escrow is expected to close at the end of May. The new group is expected to assume the Maloofs' entire 65% share of the club.

If the agreement between the current Kings owners and the prospective ownership group becomes official, it would be the end of a lengthy saga that pitted Sacramento and Seattle against one another in a fight for the Kings. Despite Hansen's Seattle group increasing their valuation of the franchise to $625MM, the league's owners voted 22-8 against relocating the Kings to Seattle on Wednesday, urging the Maloofs and Ranadive's group to try to negotiate a deal in the next 24 to 48 hours.

A source tells Bizjak that, after the league's owners voted down the Kings' relocation bid, the Maloofs were eager to "turn the page," and were happy to sell to an ownership group that would keep the team in Sacramento.

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