Tag: Hawks sale

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Report: Sale of Atlanta Hawks “moving fast”

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We still don’t know who the buyer is, but apparently the sale of the Atlanta Hawks is moving along quickly.

The Atlanta Spirit — the name of the ownership group — recently sold the NHL’s Thrashers (which moved to Winnipeg) and now are on track to sell the NBA team.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the report.

People familiar with the process say representatives of a potential buyer are doing due diligence — examining financial records — as the process moves toward a possible offer and more detailed negotiations for the basketball team and Philips Arena operating rights.

The people familiar with the situation, speaking exclusively with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, would not identify the potential bidder because of confidentiality agreements, but described the process as moving fast. They said no offer or exclusive negotiating agreement is in place but that the potential bidder, who might have partners, has the financial wherewithal to complete a transaction.

While the sale price is not known, Forbes values the Hawks at $295 million. Expect toe Spirit or maintain a minority share in the team.

After the anonymous bidder does his due diligence, the usual procedure is for the Spirit and owner to set up an “exclusive right to negotiate” deal that locks out other bidders for a time. Then the two sides haggle over a price. If they can come to a deal, then they still need the approval of the other NBA owners.

Unlike the Thrashers, the Hawks are not going anywhere. First, the new owner is buying the building operating rights, not a sign he wants to move on. Also, the AJC reports there would be $195 million in loans that would need to be paid off first, which is a steep price to move a team.

The Spirit did have an exclusive negotiating period with John Moores, the man in the process of selling the San Diego Padres. However, no deal was reached.

Another report that Hawks are close to being sold

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First came the report the Hawks were very close to being sold again. Then the expected denial. Again.

Now comes a second report from a trusted place — David Aldridge of NBA.com — that the sale is indeed close.

The sale is close to being completed, though it won’t be finalized in time for an approval vote by the Board of Governors at its meeting Tuesday in Dallas. There is a single, and up to now, anonymous buyer, according to a source. The amount? I’m told it’s in the neighborhood of $300 million, including debt on the team. The team’s current ownership group, Atlanta Spirit, is expected to remain on in a minority ownership capacity, according to the source, who’s been briefed on the terms of the pending transfer.

Another group led by the founders of the Outback Steakhouse chain in Florida also put in a bid on the team, according to a source, though it’s unclear how much they put up or if they were ever seriously considered …

Expect this to go down at some point soon.

Interesting side note here — when the Atlanta Hawks offer Joe Johnson a max deal last summer (six years and he is making more than LeBron) it seemed unwise, but there were rumors it got approval from some of the Atlanta Spirit investors because they were not going to be around to deal with bad end of that deal. Seems like they may have been thinking about this sale for a while.

Report: Hawks close to being sold. Again. Owners deny. Again

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UPDATE June 24, 3:39 am: The Atlanta Spirit, the ownership group for the Hawks, denied the report that a deal is close, according to the Associated Press:

The Atlanta Spirit issued a statement saying “we have spoken with a number of parties, but at this time, there is no deal in place, nor is there an exclusive negotiating agreement in place.”  Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said Thursday the team had no further comment.

Not sure how close they are, but there sure seems to be a lot of smoke for no fire.

June 23, 6:22 pm: A month ago reports surfaced that the Atlanta Hawks were on the verge of  being sold to John Moores (the man in the process of selling the San Diego Padres). That deal fell apart, but in the mean time the Atlanta Spirit (the name of the ownership group) sold off the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL, a franchise now on its way to Winnipeg.

Apparently the Spirit did not stop trying to sell the Hawks, too, and they are close to a deal again, according to Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated.

One of the sources confirmed that the sale is about to be consummated, but declined to identify the buyer.

The news was expected to come as a surprise to team officials of the Hawks, who were not aware a sale was imminent as they prepared for the NBA draft. SI.com learned of the sale hours before the draft, though the news is not expected to influence the Hawks’ decision-making during the draft.

The buyer may be Moores, the two sides were not exclusively negotiating but may have kept talking, or it could be a different group entirely. Either way, new ownership would likely mean big changes for the Hawks.

Hawks ownership not selling team… for now

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Negotiations between the Atlanta Spirit — the ownership group that owns the Atlanta Hawks — and John Moores to sell the Hawks have ended.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the exclusive negotiating period between the Spirit and Moores (the owner of the San Diego Padres who is in the process of selling that team) has been disbanded.

“We no longer have an exclusivity,” (Spirit partner Michael) Gearon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was ended by mutual agreement after preliminary discussions.”

It is not clear how long Moores’ exclusive period had been in effect. The parties agreed to end the arrangement after the period produced little momentum toward a deal. Ending the exclusivity doesn’t preclude the possibility of subsequent negotiations with Moores about the Hawks, but it reopens the process to other potential bidders.

Atlanta Spirit has been actively seeking investors or buyers for its basketball and hockey teams since 2007.

The Thrashers are close to being sold and moved to Winnipeg. The Spirit are clearly taking their time and looking for a deal that suits them for the Hawks, so don’t look for anything in the near future. Sorry Hawks fans.