May 23, 2011, 5:56 PM EDT
Negotiations between the Atlanta Spirit — the ownership group that owns the Atlanta Hawks — and John Moores to sell the Hawks have ended.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the exclusive negotiating period between the Spirit and Moores (the owner of the San Diego Padres who is in the process of selling that team) has been disbanded.
“We no longer have an exclusivity,” (Spirit partner Michael) Gearon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was ended by mutual agreement after preliminary discussions.”
It is not clear how long Moores’ exclusive period had been in effect. The parties agreed to end the arrangement after the period produced little momentum toward a deal. Ending the exclusivity doesn’t preclude the possibility of subsequent negotiations with Moores about the Hawks, but it reopens the process to other potential bidders.
Atlanta Spirit has been actively seeking investors or buyers for its basketball and hockey teams since 2007.
The Thrashers are close to being sold and moved to Winnipeg. The Spirit are clearly taking their time and looking for a deal that suits them for the Hawks, so don’t look for anything in the near future. Sorry Hawks fans.
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