BY SPNW Staff 06:44PM 05/16/2013

Update: Kings reportedly sold for $535 million

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.”

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.


  • Leon Russell

    Again, I ask, what happens to the $30 million “non-refundable” deposit Hansen gave the Maloofs? Are the Maloofs going to give it back to Hansen, because they like and respect Hansen so much? Or, are the Maloofs going to keep it, as they likely have every legal right to do? This might really show what sort of people the Maloofs are.
    Is Hansen going to get Maloofed?
    If the Maloofs sell to Ranadive, as it seems certain they will, then we will find out about the fate of that $30 million deposit pretty soon, I would expect.

    • Michael Kaiser

      Shows you what a whiny bitch Hanson and his supporters are. The $30 million deposit was “non-refundable” guys and GIRLS.

      • Colin Powell

        Call us back when you turn 15.

      • D Johnson

        Yep, non-refundable. You call Hanson a whiny bitch, and yet he has said not one thing about the 30 million. And his “supporters”, which Leon is not one of” is only asking what happens to the money, not demanding it back. The only person on this comment board who is a “whiny bitch” is yourself. The Kings are staying in Sac Town. GO AWAY, your trolling is no longer needed and definitely not wanted.

  • jafabian

    Well, KJ finally won something in the NBA. Good for him.

    After telling Greg Nickels it would be wise to let the Sonics relocate to OKC so the NBA wouldn’t think twice on relocating a team to Seattle and then how the Kings purchase was interfered with it comes across as though the NBA likes Seattle being for them what Los Angeles is for the NFL: an example to other cities of what happens when you don’t kow-tow to them. Some might think things will be different when Adam Silver steps in as commish but I don’t think so. He’s Sterno’s hand picked successor. Usually there’s a due process and then a vote among owners for the position but Sterno has bypassed that and he’s done that for a reason. Silver will carry on his legacy. Maybe not as obsessively or as snarkily as Sterno but I don’t see him letting Seattle get a franchise. Not so long as Sterno has him on speed dial. Seattle can only hope that Silver is for the NBA what Fay Vincent was for MLB and gets the boot by owners.

    Hansen’s group got played. The NBA used them to secure an arena deal for the Kings and get rid of the Maloofs. Plus increasing the value of their franchises. If any second guessing could be done its maybe not making the dollar amounts being tossed around so public. If the BOG didn’t know that the Hansen group had $625 million to play with until their meeting they might have been so blown away Sterno’s words would have fallen on deaf ears. I’m still a bit surprised that the owners said NO TO MORE MONEY for themselves in favor of an arena subsidy.

    • jafabian

      On a sidenote, most league would require that Ranadive sell his shares in the Warriors before doing this deal. Evidently the NBA is so eager to get this deal done they’re looking the other way. Not sure what they’re more eager for: getting rid of the Maloofs or getting rid of Hansen.

    • Michael Kaiser

      Ya, I guess KJ won about as much in the NBA as those “great” Sonic teams. By the way, I see George Karl’s Nuggets got upset in the first round this year. Sounds familiar. I guess the only difference between KJ and someone associated with the Sonics is that KJ kept his team in town.

      • Marcus

        Gracious in victory, huh Michael?

      • Effzee

        Ya, I guess Sac has as many championships as the Sonics had. Oh, wait…

  • Leon Russell

    David Stern has been reported to make a salary of possibly $20 million per year. Whatever the amount is, it is surely many millions per year. The NBA owners are paying Stern a huge salary to operate the NBA and give the owners expert advice in situations like this one.
    When you pay someone $20 million per year to operate your organization and give you expert advice, you expect that person to operate your organization and give you advice. And then you take his advice. Why would you pay someone $20 million per year to give you advice, if you were not going to take his advice? Ignoring Stern’s advice would be just throwing $20 million per year in the trash.
    Of course the owners wanted to get Stern’s advice. And of course they were going to take Stern’s advice. That’s why they pay him $20 million per year.

    • Marcus

      Yes and no. He’s there to provide advice, but the owners are all big boys in business. I’ll credit them with enough brain cells to realize that in certain situations Stern is biased. This decision was good for him in terms of his legacy and not painfully uprooting another franchise. This decision was good for Sacramento in terms of them keeping a team (it’s terrible financially, but the people of Sacramento will likely get the opportunity to weigh in on that themselves). The decision was bad for the NBA in terms of market (Seattle > Sacramento), owners’ ability to sell, and in terms of $$$. In short, it was a bad business decision that Stern swayed due to the above. And of course the decision was bad for Seattle. The rules laid down in 2008 obviously no longer apply (a pity, since we would have never lost the Sonics in the first place). While I think he lies through his teeth a lot, I actually believe Stern in that it wasn’t so much about Seattle as about Sacramento. Sacramento sold its financial soul and that was enough to pay the devil.

      • Leon Russell

        You seriously believe that you are smarter than Stern? lol
        First of all you are wrong about the rules changing. They did not change. They are the same. If you want to keep a team in your city you need a deal to build a new arena. In 2008, Seattle had no deal for a new arena. Now, Sacramento has a deal for a new arena. If Seattle had a deal for a new arena in 2008, the Sonics would have stayed in Seattle. If Sacramento did not have a deal for a new arena now, the Kings would have left Sacramento.
        This decision doesn’t affect the owners ability to sell. Owners have always had the right to approve or reject the sale of a team. They retain that right. That is good for the NBA and the owners to have that right.
        In terms of money, the NBA is looking long-term, not short-term.
        But, for you to think you are smarter than Stern, and that you know what is better for the NBA than Stern does is laughable. Your post reminds me of the idiots who wrote that the NBA was going to get sued for “tortious interference” or “anti-trust”. As if Stern did not know what he was doing. Anyone still think that’s going to happen?

  • davewakeman

    Wait! What? You mean David Stern lied? I can’t believe that.

  • Colin Powell

    Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

    Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

    A croupier hands Renault money: Your winnings, sir.

    Renault: Oh, thank you.

  • sadinseattle

    i am tired. tired of being played and tired of hoping. i dont want to wait 2 or 3 or 4 years
    the stars were right now. if hansen and ballmer truly want a sports team they should buy the mariners. the team is ripe for sale. no debt. new tv station. valued by forbes as 12th most valuable franchise. beautiful ballpark . and fans that so much want a winner
    they could change the complexion of this team just by getting rid of lincoln and armstrong and hopefully wedge and jack too

  • jafabian

    I’m wondering what happens to the 7% of the ownership stake that Hansen purchased in bankruptcy court? I’m assuming he still has it.

    • I was watching the Elise Woodward KJR simulcast on Comcast Sports NW. According to guest Bob Condotta, who’s been covering this, he still has that, but he doesn’t give him any sizable power or say in the team’s operations. He just gets a small cut of earnings and profits, such as the dividends you would earn in your 401(k) plan.

      As far as the $30 million nonrefundable deposit? Reports say the league offered to give it back to him, but he declined. Make of that what you will.

  • Leon Russell

    Anyone who thinks that Stern does not know what he is doing, and didn’t know exactly what he was doing through this entire spectacle should read this article in Forbes, which says “More than anything, the sale process of the Kings has shown NBA commissioner David Stern at his best.”

    “First, Stern was able to build a lot of goodwill for the league by not allowing the Kings to relocate despite a richer bid from Hansen and Ballmer. His message: ethical and moral considerations are an important part of how the NBA conducts business.

    “Second, with the Seattle group willing to pay $625 million for the team plus a relocation fee of $115 million, Stern has in effect set the next expansion fee in Seattle, or the price for a mid-market NBA team, at $740 million. The commissioner was able to accomplish this in part by allowing the Seattle and Sacramento groups to compete over several months, which resulted in the former increasing its original offer of $525 million by $100 million.

    “That is quite a coup given the last NBA expansion team, the Charlotte Bobcats, was sold to Bob Johnson for $300 million in 2003. And the last NBA team to change hands were the Memphis Grizzlies, purchased by Robert Pera for $377 million late last year.

    “Finally, the Sacramento group is going to take in less money from the league’s revenue-sharing system during the two years it stays at is current arena. SportsBusiness Journal reported the figure could be as much as $15 million a year in savings for Stern’s bosses.

    “The sale of the Kings will be a great final shot for Stern, who became commissioner in 1984, before he steps down next year.”

    Any questions?