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Minority owner of Sacramento Kings selling 10 percent stake

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sacramento Kings guard George Hill reacts to scoring a basket as teammates Buddy Hield, Zach Randolph and Willie Cauley-Stein follow during the second half of a NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas on Oct. 20. A minority owner of the Sacramento Kings is selling a 10 percent stake in the franchise, seeking to capitalize on the mushrooming values of professional sports teams, according to people familiar with the seller and his thinking.

A minority owner of the Sacramento Kings is selling a 10 percent stake in the franchise, seeking to capitalize on the mushrooming values of professional sports teams, according to people familiar with the seller and his thinking.

In its annual ranking, Forbes in February valued the team at $1.1 billion, 15th in the 30-team National Basketball Association. Since then, the Houston Rockets sold for $2.2 billion, about 33 percent greater than the Forbes valuation. A stake sale in the Brooklyn Nets valued the team at $2.3 billion, 28 percent more than the Forbes estimate.

Former Houston Rockets and Astros President George Postolos, who is now a sports industry consultant, is representing the seller, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because the stake sale hasn’t been made public. Postolos and the Kings declined to comment.

It isn’t known which investor is selling the stake, which, because of its size, likely would come with a board seat.

Vivek Ranadive is the team’s managing partner. The other sizable stakeholders are Qualcomm Inc. Chairman Paul Jacobs and Raj Bhathal, founder of swimwear company RAJ Swim. A Qualcomm spokesperson said Jacobs isn’t selling his stake. An email sent to RAJ Swim’s corporate headquarters wasn’t immediately returned.

The Kings have climbed the NBA’s revenue list in the past year, lifted by the opening of the new Golden 1 Center. The arena sits in the middle of what’s called Downtown Commons, a collection of retail and entertainment venues part-owned by the team. This year, the arena has drawn more than 1.6 million customers who spent more than $71.5 million in the downtown area, according to analysts at Downtown Sacramento Partnership, a private, non-profit group.

Hall-of-Fame center Shaquille O’Neal also owns from 2 percent to 4 percent of the Kings, Forbes has said.

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