Sale of Atlanta Hawks May Be in Jeopardy

by October 27, 2011

The NBA Board of Governors has yet to sign off on the sale of the Hawks to business man Alex Meruelo, raising doubts about the deal going through. The AJC reports: “The proposed sale of the Hawks to Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo has hit a significant snag in the NBA approval process, according to people familiar with the situation. Although Meruelo signed what he called a ‘definitive’ agreement in early August to buy a majority stake in the Hawks from current owner Atlanta Spirit Group, the deal was contingent on the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. That has not been obtained as the league, as part of an extensive approval process, seeks financial assurances that Meruelo can fund the team’s ongoing operations. Meruelo declined to be interviewed Wednesday, but in a statement provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said he has the financial ability to operate the Hawks and intends to complete the purchase. ‘I have more than ample resources to purchase and operate the Hawks in a first-class manner,’ Meruelo’s statement said. ‘I am committed to the purchase of the Atlanta Hawks. While I can’t comment on the details of the approval process, I have [done] and will do everything I can to bring the process to a positive conclusion.’ If Meruelo’s deal is not completed, the Spirit group — led by Bruce Levenson, Ed Peskowitz and Michael Gearon Jr. — would remain the Hawks’ owner, at least until another buyer is found.”