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Source: Sac Investor Group Will Match Seattle Offer For Kings



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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, April 12, 2013
 
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UPDATE at 10:20pm Friday:
 
In a statement posted late friday evening, lead Seattle investor Chris Hansen said his group has reached an agreement with the Maloof family to increase its  purchase price of the Sacramento Kings.
 
"While we already have a binding purchase agreement to purchase the controlling interest in the team," Hansen says in the statement, "the Seattle Ownership Group has elected to voluntarily raise its purchase price as a sign of our commitment to bring basketball back to our City and our high degree of confidence in our Arena plan, our financing plan, the economic strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA."
 
The statement says the Seattle group will raise its offer "from an enterprise value of $525 million to an enterprise value of $550 million."  Since that offer is for 65 percent of the franchise, the actual dollar amount of the offer rises from $341 million to $357.5 million.
 
A spokesman for the Maloof family confirmed the new offer.
 
In response posted on Twitter, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said in part: "We know the NBA has never moved a team from a market that has performed and where a clear path to an arena has been demonstrated, which is why as we head into the meetings in New York City next week we are following the process established by the NBA.  That said, we of course are prepared to maintain the full court press we have applied over the last several months to make sure we leave it all on the court. For all of these reasons, we feel good about where we stand."
 

EARLIER STORY:
 
A source close to the ownership group seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep them from moving to Seattle says the group will match the offer made by Seattle investors earlier this year.
 
The Seattle group's offer is reportedly worth $340 million for about 65 percent of the team.  That includes a $30 million nonrefundable deposit, which the Sacramento group would apparently match as well.
 
The current Kings owners, the Maloof family, set a 5pm Friday deadline for the Sacramento group to submit a binding offer that matches the Seattle group's offer. The source close to the Sacramento group says it's focused on the process set by the NBA league office.
 
There are also multiple reports from national sports writers saying the NBA isn't operating on the Maloofs' timetable.  A second source close to the Sacramento group pointed out that the Maloofs need three-fourths of NBA owners to move the team to Seattle and suggested that the Maloofs may have recognized they don't have those votes.  Taken together, that would suggest the Maloofs' 5pm deadline is somewhat moot.
 
Earlier Friday, former Facebook executive and 2010 California Attorney General candidate Chris Kelly joined the group of investors seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep the team from moving to Seattle.
 
"I think that there's an incredible opportunity here to keep the Kings in Sacramento and to build a world class 21st-century sports franchise," Kelly said in an interview Friday afternoon with Capital Public Radio.  "And our group is poised to do that."
 
The news comes ahead of a 5pm deadline set by the Kings' current owners, the Maloof family, for the Sacramento group to submit a binding offer that matches the offer submitted by a Seattle group in January.
 
Asked whether the Sacramento group will meet the Maloofs' deadline, Kelly said the group is primarily dealing directly with the NBA, not the Maloofs. "But we're encouraged by a lot of what the Maloofs have had to say about if a matching offer comes in that we would seriously consider it," Kelly added.  "So we think that that's great progress."
 
Kelly's addition could help the Sacramento investors address a new wrinkle that surfaced Thursday.  The NBA has reportedly asked the Sacramento group for an extra $30 million that would compensate the Seattle group for the non-refundable deposit it gave the Maloofs as part of the original deal - if that deal becomes void due to the Kings staying put.
 
Also Friday, the city of Sacramento announced it's begun the environmental review process for a potential Kings arena at the Downtown Plaza mall.  That process, subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is expected to take 12-14 months.
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