The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Sacramento Kings to an ownership group led by software company TIBCO founder Vivek Ranadive. The Maloof family and Robert Hernreich agreed last week to sell their combined 65 percent share for $347.75 million.
The value of those shares is based on a valuation of the team of $535 million. That is $10 million more than the backup offer made by the Ranadive group to the NBA. The lower offer was made as Sacramento and Seattle made their respective cases before the NBA as to why the franchise should either stay or be allowed to move.
Ken Fahn is a Sacramento businessman who is part of the local investment group. He says the vote shows the quality of the group and the city’s partnership with the NBA.
“San Antonio made it to the NBA Finals. So, it shows us another example of a small market team able to be successful and I hope Sacramento will follow in their footsteps.”
The Ranadive group also includes 20 business people who contributed $1 million each. The primary investors are Sacramento developer Mark Friedman, Andy Miller of the tech company Leap Motion, Chris Kelly (formerly of Facebook), 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and the Jacobs brothers from Qualcomm.
Escrow on the deal is expected to close by Friday.
The majority owners of the 30 NBA teams voted 22-8 on May 15 to block a request by the Maloofs to move the team to Seattle. Had the request been approved, a Seattle investment group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had agreed to purchase the majority shares.
Hansen told KJR Radio today he will do what it takes to transfer ownership of a seven percent minority share of the team to the Ranadive group. His bid had been approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge in Sacramento, but has not yet been approved by the NBA.
Hansen says the thought he had pitted Sacramento against Seattle made him "sick to his stomach" but that his group's offer for the team came at a time there was no ownership group or arena deal in Sacramento.
Hansen says the odds of his group landing either an expansion franchise or another NBA team from another city should become clearer within a year.