Maloofs to Sell NBA’s Kings, Move Team to Seattle, ESPN Reports

The Maloof family agreed to sell a 65 percent interest in the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based group led by Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen, ESPN reported.

The deal, which still needs league approval, values the team at $525 million, according to the Walt Disney Co. unit, which cited unidentified people in the league. The 65 percent is composed of a 53 percent stake owned by the Maloof family and a 12 percent stake owned by minority owner Bob Hernreich, ESPN reported.

Joe Maloof, president of the family’s Maloof Cos., didn’t immediately respond to a text message seeking comment on the report. Tim Frank, a spokesman for the NBA, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking similar comment.

The Maloof family will retain a small part of the team with no decision-making power once the agreement is completed, ESPN said. The league expects the new owners to apply to relocate the team to Seattle for the 2013-2014 season by the March 1 deadline.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA point guard, posted a message on his Twitter account this morning that read: “Let me be clear. Though agreement btw Maloofs & Seattle is out, deal is NOT done. Sac can still present an offer 2 NBA.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at ceichelberge@bloomberg.net; Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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