JOSÉ LUIS VILLEGAS / jvillegas@sacbee.com

Vivek Ranadive, incoming majority owner of the Kings, celebrates with fans last week at a Cesar Chavez Plaza rally. The sale of the team to Ranadive's group is expected to be complete Friday. The league cleared the path for the sale by voting May 15 to reject a deal that would have moved the team to Seattle.

Maloofs complete sale of Sacramento Kings to Ranadive group

Published: Friday, May. 31, 2013 - 9:20 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013 - 5:38 pm

The Maloof family said today it has completed the sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group led by Vivek Ranadive, with George Maloof saying the family is looking forward to the next chapter in its history.

"We all feel good about it - it worked out," Maloof told The Bee shortly after the family announced it had closed escrow on the sale. The family took over controlling interest of the Kings in 1999.

"We're very excited, we're ready to move on," Maloof said. "We just feel it's Vivek's time and we want to move on."

Ranadive issued a statement calling it "an honor and a privilege to be a part of this incredible franchise." He praised the NBA, Sacramento fans and Mayor Kevin Johnson, and thanked the Maloofs "for their support and cooperation throughout the sale process."

NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a prepared statement: "We are pleased for both the Maloof family and the Ranadive group, but particularly pleased for the fans of the Kings."

The new group has already reportedly selected a new coach, Mike Malone, an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, although the hiring hasn't yet been announced.

The Maloofs agreed to sell their 65 percent interest in the Kings on May 16, one day after the NBA board of governors blocked the team's proposed relocation to Seattle. The rejection effectively killed the Maloofs' deal to sell the team to Seattle investors led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.

The deal with Ranadive's group values the entire franchise at just under $535 million - about $90 million less than the Hansen-Ballmer deal.

But in fact, the Maloofs made nearly as much from the Ranadive sale as they would have from the Seattle investors. Under the Seattle deal, for instance, the Maloofs would have had to contribute toward the league-mandated relocation fee, cutting into their payout.

"The valuation was fair," Maloof said of the Ranadive deal.

Hansen told reporters in Seattle that he was surprised at how strongly Sacramento fought to keep the Kings, as Mayor Kevin Johnson helped recruit an ownership group and pushed an arena deal through the City Council.

"I think we were all a bit surprised," George Maloof said. "They should be commended, the mayor should be commended."

The Maloofs' 14-year tenure as owners is the longest in the franchise's history, dating back to the late 1940s in Rochester, N.Y. "As we look forward to an exciting new chapter in our family business enterprise, we will never forget the people of Sacramento and everything they have done for the Kings organization," said co-owner Joe Maloof in a prepared statement.

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.



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