Jan 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings fans holds a sign against the possible sale of the Kings to a Seattle based group during the second quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Might Sacramento Kings Minority Owners Be The Roadblock To Seattle?

When you think of ownership in any professional sport, you think of the big, power names, that grace the headlines – not minority owners who play the background. So when the Maloof family agreed to sell their stake in the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle based Hansen group, it was all but a formality – at least from the sale standpoint, right? Wrong.

According to R.E. Graswich, it’s the minority owners of the Sacramento Kings who will be given first right to match the offer from the Hansen group – minority owners who’ve expressed their desire to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Per Graswich:

Last shot at saving Kings hangs on this technicality — minority owners get first right of refusal to buy M’s share.

Obviously, the minority owners couldn’t put together a number like the Hansen group has by themselves, but you have to wonder – will they, thanks to Mayor Kevin Johnson, find that proverbial “whale” buyer that’s been rumored and team their money together to match the Seattle offer? Is it even a legal possibility at this point?

Seems like a long shot – but with first right of refusal in their corner (meaning they have the first right to match any sale to keep the team and assuming Graswich’s report is accurate) – you wonder if that’s not a major tool at the disposal of Mayor Johnson.

And it should be pointed out – it doesn’t matter where the money comes from to buy the Maloof shares – just as long as the money is there to buy them. Keep in mind – there’s no solid confirmation of this either way, but it’s clearly going to be a bumpy ride. Buckle up.

Update -

Carmichael Dave says Graswich’s information isn’t correct:

After working the phones, I am once again being told that Graswich’s assessment of the first rite of refusal is wrong. Clause doesn’t exist.


Tags: Maloofs Relocation Sacramento Kings

  • Karl

    I’d imagine it’s not that easy. If the minority owners are given the money by a “whale” to buy the Kings, they’d basically have to pay 30% or so more because that is beyond the gift tax exclusion.

  • schtickus

    “Buckle up”?
    Probably the wrong thing to say, because I am sure that everyone will “buckle up” when they get in that moving van headed for Seattle.

  • http://twitter.com/Kingsguru21 Nate Hughart

    There could be a real wrinkle to this B.

    The 7% stake hasn’t been settled yet, and with that being in bankruptcy court that could hold up the sale. Which could hold up relocation and so on and so forth.

    I don’t know if that will hold up, or is even true. What I do know that is typically, and has proved to be the case in some places elsewhere, that minority owners have the first right of refusal IN SOME CASES. In this case, do the Kings minority guys have a chance? I don’t know. I really don’t.

    But I’ve said it before (hell I said it 5 months ago): My bet has been all along that whoever comes away with that 7% stake comes away with the Kings out of the smoke.

    If you’re Ron Burkle, do you not bid on that? Or, another owner, say, Larry Ellison. (I’m aware what Steinmetz tweeted, but that could be Ellison not wanting to get in a bidding war. Or, more likely, Ellison knows he can’t get to San Jose and thus won’t buy a team unless that happens.)

    Either way, I think we are looking at an interesting landmark NBA moment if this happens.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aroyalpain A Royal Pain

      Shhh – don’t wake the angry natives who feel the need to tell Sacramento fans how to act and feel.

      • http://twitter.com/Kingsguru21 Nate Hughart

        Oh goddangit. I guess I should just be happy that Seattle is going to be made whole by this.

  • Hank

    Don’t hold your breath. This deal was done 3 weeks ago.

  • Schtickus

    Carmichael Dave ‏@CarmichaelDave “After working the phones, I am once again being told that Graswich’s assessment of the first rite of refusal is wrong. Clause doesn’t exist.”
    Sorry guys!

    • http://twitter.com/ARoyalPain A Royal Pain

      Already been updated :)