After a Seattle group’s bid to buy the Sacramento Kings dramatically increased, the family owning a majority reportedly wants to sell — but only to the Seattle buyers.
Reports this weekend said the Maloof family, who own a 65 percent share of the Sacramento Kings, are only interested in selling to a group of investors from Seattle led by Chris Hansen. This week the Seattle group increased its bid to $625 million, which would mean $409 million going to the cash-strapped Maloofs. The family reportedly has a “backup” agreement with Hansen’s group to continue to operate the franchise in exchange for selling 20 percent of the team for $125 million.
A Sacramento group had offered a counter proposal to keep the team.
The Maloofs reportedly told fellow NBA owners — who must approve a sale — that if the deal is not approved they will not sell to the Sacramento-based group looking to keep the team where it is.
The NBA has already spoken on the Sacramento bid, with its relocation committee casting a unanimous vote to reject the relocation to Seattle. Owners were expected to follow that recommendation, but Hansen’s aggressive new bid may have changed that.
Hansen has seemed undeterred in his pursuit of the team and bringing basketball back to Seattle.
“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 made a pitch to owners to approve his deal:
“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.”
All 30 NBA owners will vote May 15 on whether to accept Chris Hansen’s Sacramento Kings bid.