Just 24 hours after NBA owners officially rejected a bid to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, the team’s owners have decided to sell the Kings to a Sacramento-based group.
The Maloofs, who have owned the Kings since 1998, had hoped to sell the stake to a group of Seattle businessmen that was offering $406 million for their shares. However, the family later proposed keeping controlling interest of the team but selling off a 20 percent stake to the Seattle group.
Even so, with the NBA’s owners supporting Ranadive and the team remaining in California, the Maloofs quickly dropped their other plans and reached a settlement.
According to NBA commissioner David Stern he expected such a deal would be signed by today. Stern also added that software billionaire Vivek Ranadive already had put more than $200 million in an escrow account in anticipation of the purchase.
The family will most likely clear a figure close to $200 million from the sale, including a $60 million debt to the city of Sacramento plus money owed to the NBA. When the Maloofs bought the Kings they paid the valuation of $156 million.
Ranadive has been working hand in hand with government officials to secure the promise of more than $250 million in funding for a new Kings arena.
That deal was a huge reason why owners rejected a strong bid from Seattle led by businessman Chris Hansen, who cut a deal with the Maloofs in January to buy and move the Kings.
Since Ranadive is already an NBA owner of the Golde State Warriors and his group — which includes the family that controls the Qualcomm communications giant, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and former Facebook senior executive Chris Kelly — has been vetted by NBA lawyers, and it is expected the sale will be approved in a fast manner by other owners.