The Maloof family has sold the Kings for $535 million valuation to a Sacramento group led by Vivek Ranadive, according to the Sacramento Bee Thursday, citing an unnamed source. That figures to end the drama of the past five months following the offer of $525 million in January from Chris Hansen, whose bid to move the team to Seattle was rejected Wednesday by NBA owners.
Hansen and partner Steve Ballmer, anticipating the denial, Saturday made an offer to the Maloofs to take a 20 percent minority position for $115 million, but the offer was not presented to the NBA for consideration, according to Commissioner David Stern.
The original Hansen valuation was already an NBA record, topping the $450 million paid for the Golden State Warriors in 2010. He later improved the offer by $25 million and then $75 million.
The Bee reported the deal, which would gross $347 million for the Maloofs’ 65 percent share, would be announced sometime Friday.
Earlier Thursday, the Bee quoted Mayor Kevin Johnson anticipating the sale.
“It’s going to be close to being signed in the next day or two,” he said. “I’ll be surprised if we get past the weekend. I feel very confident about that.”
Ranadive said at the Dallas meeting that negotiations were underway.
“Our lawyers (for the Maloofs and Ranadive groups) have been talking for some time, and we believe that we can get this done quickly.”
Maloof told the Bee that talks with Ranadive are “going on fine . . . If it had to turn out this way, it’s fine with us. But my loyalty is with Chris because he stepped up. We tried to find somebody that would buy the team in Sacramento, and we couldn’t. That’s the fact of the matter.
“These guys are good guys, I have a lot of respect for the people who are trying to buy the team in Sacramento.”
The Bee reported the buyers will absorb debt associated with the franchise, including the repayment of a $64 million loan the team owes the city of Sacramento. The Maloofs would end up with around $200 million.
Regarding the Board of Governors meeting, Steve Kyler, who covers the NBA for USA Today tweeted Thursday:”Sources close to the process in Dallas yesterday said that David Stern was an active participant in Seattle/Sac vote.”
Sources said that Seattle group was compelling and that more owners were probablyin favor of Seattle vote, but that Stern swayed the vote.
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 16, 2013
Stern in February made a point of saying that the decision between Seattle and Sacramento would largely be left to the NBA owners, indicating his role would be minimized.