May 17, 2013, 1:55 AM EDT
Just more than 24 hours after the NBA rejected a plan to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle — essentially killing a sale of the team to a Seattle group — the Maloof family has reached a deal to sell the Kings to a Sacramento group that had put a counter offer before the league.
The deal was expected to be reached quickly and it is now done, reports the Sacramento Bee.
A Sacramento investors group has reached a deal with the Maloof family to buy the Kings for an NBA record valuation of $535 million, a source has told The Sacramento Bee.
That translates to a price of $347 million for the 65 percent of the team controlled by the Maloofs. The agreement, reached today, is expected to be announced sometime Friday. If the NBA approves the deal, escrow is expected to close at the end of May.
The Sacramento group was put together by the city’s Mayor Kevin Johnson and is led by billionaire Vivek Ranadive. The group has already purchased land and has plans for a new stadium in downtown Sacramento.
This is the culmination of a big win for Sacramento and a sticky mess for the NBA. The Maloof family had exhausted the good will they had built up in Sacramento in recent years and had almost single handedly killed a couple arena proposals to help keep the Kings in town. The family said the team was not for sale, until it was leaked the family had an agreement to sell the team to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen.
That was a strong ownership group and offer from Seattle. Sacramento Mayor Johnson went to David Stern and basically asked, “What do I have to do to keep the team?” Stern laid out a long list that seemed hard to reach — put together a strong ownership group that could match the offer, come up with an arena plan and buy the land for it, and more. Credit Johnson and Sacramento, they got it done. And with that Seattle was on the outside because the advantage always belonged to the incumbent, even though that’s not what the investors and people of Seattle were sold.
But this is a day for celebrating in Sacramento — they get to keep their team. They get new owners that will help give them some direction on the court (we hope).
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