The group of investors planning to keep the Sacramento Kings in California’s state capital has made its next move. According to the Sacramento Bee, the equity team led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadivé has deposited 50 percent of the purchasing price in an escrow account.
On Monday, USA Today reported that the investor group was in discussions to put 20 percent of the offering price as a downpayment by Friday. However after the NBA relocation committee unanimously decided to recommend against moving the Kings from Sacramento, the group chose to put 50 percent in escrow.
The Maloofs still have an agreement in place to sell controlling interest of the team to Seattle investors Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom family. The deal, however, has been subject to Board of Governors’ approval since the two sides came to terms on the sale in mid-January. Late last month, the Seattle group raised their bid by approximately $16.5 million after Ranadivé and company submitted a back-up offer that matched the original $341-million deal.
Cowbell Kingdom spoke to Mark Mastrov, one of the several major equity investors in the Sacramento group, at halftime of Thursday’s game 6 between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets. When asked if the local group had begun negotiations with the current Kings owners, Mastrov politely declined to comment after thoughtful consideration.
The NBA is expected to make its final decision on the Kings in less than two weeks. The league’s Board of Governors is planning to vote on the relocation and sale of the franchise on May 15.