A judge today approved the sale of 7 percent of the Sacramento Kings to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who wants to move the entire team to Seattle.
Hansen agreed to buy the share held by bankrupt developer Bob Cook for $15.1 million. No other bidders surfaced, and none of the other Kings' limited partners exercised their right to purchase the stake by matching Hansen's offer.
Hansen's purchase must be approved by the NBA Board of Governors - just like his pending deal to buy the 65 percent controlling interest in the team from the Maloof family.
The Board of Governors, consisting of all NBA team owners, is scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday to review Hansen's deal with the Maloofs as well as a competing proposal from a group trying to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
In accepting Hansen's bid for the 7 percent share, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein said, "We have one bidder - we don't know whether that bidder is acceptable to the NBA."
Donald Fitzgerald, attorney for the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the sale of the Cook share, said he asked Hansen to increase his offer after the Seattle investor revealed last Friday night that he had increased his bid to the Maloof family. Hansen is now offering $357 million for the Maloof share, an increase of $16 million.
Hansen refused to increase the bid for the 7 percent share. Nor was he legally required to, Fitzgerald said.
Existing limited partner David Lucchetti was planning to match Hansen's bid but backed out, leaving Hansen as the sole bidder on the Cook share.
Meanwhile, Mayor Kevin Johnson plans to hold a press conference this afternoon with several of the investors mounting a counter-offer for the Maloofs' share of the team. The investors, led by Silicon Valley software tycoon Vivek Ranadive, came to town late Monday.
The press conference will be at 1:30 p.m. at Downtown Plaza, home of the proposed new Kings arena.
Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.