SACRAMENTO, CA - It requires judicial and NBA approval, but bankruptcy lawyers for Sacramento Kings minority owner Bob Cook have agreed to sell his 7 percent stake in the team to Chris Hansen, the investor behind Seattle's effort to buy the franchise, News10 has learned.
The $15.1 million price would give the Seattle group a total of 72 percent ownership. The Maloofs, majority owners of the Kings, have previously agreed to sell their 65 percent stake to the Seattle group for $525 million. That deal is also pending NBA approval.
MORE: Cook's bankruptcy court documents
The good news for Sacramento is that the sale probably won't happen.
Court documents say the current minority owners of the Kings will have the opportunity to match Hansen's offer. If they do, their offer would supercede Hansen's.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says other minority owners of the Kings will submit an offer for Cook's stake in the next few days. He offered the following statement:
In the last week, Sacramento has made tremendous progress towards our goal of building an irrefutable case to the NBA to keep the Sacramento Kings where they belong - in Sacramento. As I mentioned at my State of the City address, part of our strategy to keep the Kings is to have local ownership and keep the 7% currently in bankruptcy here in Sacramento. We are not surprised by the news that the Seattle group has made an offer to purchase the 7%. We knew this was going to happen and know exactly what our next steps are. We are playing to win.
There is a "no shop" provision on the Cook-Hansen deal, meaning there can be no other marketing of the 7 percent sale pending the bankruptcy judge's ruling; a hearing has been set for April 16. That is just before the April 18-19 NBA Board of Governors meeting where owners will vote on whether the Kings move to Seattle or stay in town.
The Sacramento and Seattle investor groups make their pitches to the NBA's Relocation Committee on April 3. News10 will be in New York then and two weeks later.