Jun 27, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT
First came the report the Hawks were very close to being sold again. Then the expected denial. Again.
Now comes a second report from a trusted place — David Aldridge of NBA.com — that the sale is indeed close.
The sale is close to being completed, though it won’t be finalized in time for an approval vote by the Board of Governors at its meeting Tuesday in Dallas. There is a single, and up to now, anonymous buyer, according to a source. The amount? I’m told it’s in the neighborhood of $300 million, including debt on the team. The team’s current ownership group, Atlanta Spirit, is expected to remain on in a minority ownership capacity, according to the source, who’s been briefed on the terms of the pending transfer.
Another group led by the founders of the Outback Steakhouse chain in Florida also put in a bid on the team, according to a source, though it’s unclear how much they put up or if they were ever seriously considered …
Expect this to go down at some point soon.
Interesting side note here — when the Atlanta Hawks offer Joe Johnson a max deal last summer (six years and he is making more than LeBron) it seemed unwise, but there were rumors it got approval from some of the Atlanta Spirit investors because they were not going to be around to deal with bad end of that deal. Seems like they may have been thinking about this sale for a while.
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