Sale of Atlanta Hawks ‘Moving Fast’

The on-again off-again (then on-again) saga of selling the Atlanta Hawks may soon come to a conclusion, per the AJC: “Efforts by the Atlanta Spirit ownership group to sell a majority stake in the Hawks have accelerated since the group’s sale of the Thrashers last month. 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. The potential buyer has accountants and lawyers working extensively on the matter. Typically, the sale of a majority stake in an NBA franchise is a complex, multi-tiered process. The next step after due diligence would be for the parties to reach agreement on the parameters of a deal and sign a letter of intent. At that point, the buyer and seller typically would enter into an exclusive negotiating period — often for 30 to 90 days — to hammer out details of a deal, which then would have to be approved by the NBA.”