NBA owners were notified Sunday of a deal that would transfer control of the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to a Seattle-based ownership group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The potential deal involves a sale of a 65% controlling share of the franchise — 53% is the Maloof’s, 12% is minority owner Bob Hernreich’s — to Hansen’s group, which, based on a total valuation of $525 million, comes out to roughly $341 million.
This news comes nearly two weeks after Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported of an impending agreement between the two parties, which sent Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson scrambling to cobble together a team of Sacramento-area investors in an effort to present a counter offer to the league. NBA Commissioner David Stern went on record last week confirming the league would entertain such an offer from Johnson and his team.
Any sale must be approved by the NBA Board of Governors, and any relocation by the Relocation Committee, which is headed by none other than Thunder owner Clay Bennett — because this situation was just screaming for more irony.
UPDATE: Statements from Hansen:
We are happy to announce that we have entered into a binding agreement with the Maloofs to purchase a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise. The sale is obviously subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and we look forward to working with the League in the coming months to consummate the transaction.
While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family. Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades.
We have always appreciated and treasured our ownership of the Kings and have had a great admiration for the fans and our team members. We would also like thank Chris Hansen for his professionalism during our negotiation. Chris will be a great steward for the franchise.
And the NBA:
The NBA received an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the transfer of a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to an investor group led by Christopher Hansen. The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board’s committee process for review.