The Sacramento Kings purchase bid from a Seattle basketball investor just increased dramatically, but it’s still not likely to sway the NBA agreeing to the move.
Seattle investor Chris Hansen on Friday raised his Sacramento Kings bid to $625 million. Hansen represents an ownership group interested in buying the Kings and moving them to Seattle, where they would be resurrected as the Seattle SuperSonics.
The ownership group originally made a bid of $525 million in January, entering into a binding purchase agreement with the Kings’ owners majority, the Maloof family. Hansen and his investors are looking to purchase the 65 percent of the team the Maloofs own.
The Seattle group, which also includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, increased its valuation to $550 million in April, meaning the Maloof s would get $357 million. This came in response to a counter offer from Sacramento, which has been fighting to keep the team, with mayor Kevin Johnson in the lead.
“In an effort to further demonstrate the extent of our commitment to bring basketball back to Seattle,” Hansen wrote on SonicsArena.com, “we have elected to voluntarily increase our proposed purchase price for the Sacramento Kings NBA Franchise by $75 million — from an enterprise value of $550 million to $625 million. In conjunction with our revised offer, we have also guaranteed to the NBA that the Franchise would be a revenue sharing payer in all years in Seattle.”
Hansen also seemed undeterred from Sacramento’s efforts to keep the team, writing:
“While we appreciate that this is a very difficult decision for the league and owners, we hope it is understood that we really believe the time is now to bring the NBA back to Seattle, and that it is paramount that we do everything we can to put Seattle’s best foot forward in this process.”
But the NBA has already stood in the way of the Sacramento Kings bid. The league’s relocation committee cast a unanimous vote in April to reject the team’s move to Seattle. The NBA has also reportedly asked the Maloofs to walk away accept the counter-offer from the Kings and reject Hansen’s deal.
Sacramento officials had already treated the matter as if it were closed. After the April vote, Johnson tweeted:
Shortly after the vote, Sacramento mayor Johnson tweeted:
“That’s what I’m talking about SACRAMENTO!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!! I’ve never been prouder of this city. I thank the ownership group, city leaders, but most of all the BEST FANS IN THE NBA!!! I want to take my hat off to Seattle.you’re a great city,had a great proposal, unbelievable fans & no doubt deserve a team in the future.”
All 30 NBA owners will vote May 15 on whether to accept or reject the Sacramento Kings bid.