The sale of the Sacramento Kings has been finalized.
Ownership of the team transferred from the Maloof family to a Bay Area group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive.
“We congratulate Vivek Ranadive and the entire Sacramento investor group for their willingness to come forward and purchase the franchise for the people of Sacramento,” George Maloof said in a statement released by the team. “We are confident they will provide the stewardship necessary to continue to guide the organization to successful levels.”
Ranadive’s group acquired 65 percent of the franchise for $347 million, which set the valuation of the team at $534 million. The sale sets the NBA record topping the $450 million that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid to buy the Golden State Warriors in 2010.
Still, the sale of the Kings is less than Chris Hansen’s offer that would have given the Maloof family $358 million and valued the team at $625 million. After the NBA Board of Governors voted 22-8 to block Hansen’s plan to relocate the Kings to Seattle, the Maloofs were urged to sale to Ranadive.
The Sacramento group also includes 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, former Facebook senior executive Chris Kelly and the Jacobs family that owns communications giant Qualcomm.
After 14 years, the Maloof family is no longer in control of the Kings. Their tenure has been filled with ups and downs. The Kings made seven trips to the playoffs, posted five 50-win seasons, won two Pacific Division titles (2001-02 and 2002-03) and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2002.
The Maloofs controlled the Kings longer than any other ownership group in the 65-year history of the franchise and the team never enjoyed more success.
In recent years, the family’s popularity with fans waned due to their arena demands and repeated attempts to relocate the Kings. Before agreeing to sale the team to Hansen, the Maloof family considered moving to Las Vegas, Anaheim and Virginia Beach.
With considerable help from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Ranadive convinced NBA owners to remain in California’s capital city. The team has a a non-binding financing plan with the city for a $447 million arena that requires a $258 million public subsidy.
The Kings also reportedly hired Golden State assistant Mike Malone as their next head coach.