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Kings' deal with Seattle group finalized

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The Sacramento Kings and the National Basketball Association announced on Monday that the sale of the team to a Seattle investment group has been finalized.

It is now under league review for approval, which could take place in a few weeks.

The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, confirmed the sale in a statement released on Monday.

"The Maloof family announced today that an executed purchase and sale agreement has been reached to sell the family's interest in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Sacramento Kings to a group led by investor Chris Hansen," the statement said. "The transaction requires approval by the NBA's Board of Governors and therefore no comments or details regarding the agreement will be released.

"We have always appreciated and treasured our ownership of the Kings and have had a great admiration for the fans and our team members. We would also like thank Chris Hansen for his professionalism during our negotiation. Chris will be a great steward for the franchise."

The NBA announced it received sale documents.

"The NBA received an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the transfer of a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family to an investor group led by Christopher Hansen," the league said in a statement. "The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and has been referred to the Board's committee process for review."

Under the terms of the deal, the team will move to Seattle.

Hansen announced the purchase shortly after the Maloofs went public.

"We are happy to announce that we have entered into a binding agreement with the Maloofs to purchase a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise," Hansen said in a statement. "The sale is obviously subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and we look forward to working with the League in the coming months to consummate the transaction.

"While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family. Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades."

The Maloofs did not reveal the sale price of the team, but Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has said he believes the team is valued at up to $525 million. Hansen's group is reportedly paying about $340 million, which is the 65 percent controlled by the Maloofs.

Johnson is expected to counter with an offer in April to keep the Kings in Sacramento by a local group. Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov and supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle are among the local bidders, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"Sacramento is playing to win," he said in a statement Sunday night. "In particular, we have been focused like a laser on identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL."

The local offer would include a financing package for a new arena.

Johnson added that Sacramento is a "strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons."

Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday night that the NBA's Board of Governors, which consists of all the league owners, is expected to OK the Seattle deal.

The Maloofs have had controlling interest of the Kings since 1999.

Seattle has been seeking a team since the Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

Hansen is a hedge fund manager backed by Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer. If Seattle gets the team, Hansen expects to rename it the Sonics.
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