The two Hawks ownership front-runners are finally emerging as the lengthy process of selling the Philips Arena and the franchise enters the seventh month. Several people who can be said to be in the know have disclosed that two groups can now be considered to be the finalists. The current owners of Hawks and the prospective buyers are said to have signed non-disclosure agreements preventing them from publicly speaking about the process of the sale.
The Genesis of Hawk’s Sale
The Atlanta Hawks came up for sale in January following a September email that came from Bruce Levenson the principal owner, expressing some personal concerns. Mr. Bruce Levenson of prnewswire is the partner and Co-Founder at the huge United Communications Group (UGC). He co-founded UCG in 1977 with Mr. Ed Peskowitz and even after being with the company for 27, he continues to propel the business strategy of UCG and plays a huge part in the acquisition efforts of the firm. In addition, he is the Owner of Atlanta Spirit, LLC.
The Bid Particulars
It is reported that entrepreneur Antony Ressler has come into an agreement to acquire the Hawks for an estimated sale price of about $850 million, according to confirmed sources. The sale of the Atlanta Hawks is going to be financed partly by cash and the assumption of some of the outstanding debt. Sources close to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN have indicated that Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and CEO Steve Koonin are likely to become part of the new owner’s long-range plans.
Budenholzer, in his press conference just ahead to Hawks 1st round series of Game 2 against the Brooklyn Nets, confirmed that he was aware of the sale reports but insisted he was more focused on the game.
Sources informed Shelburne that the impeding deal, which also includes Philips Arena operating control, is expected to be made public later on Wednesday. Earlier, Yahoo! Sports had reported that a deal was close between Ressler’s group and the Hawks. The Hawks are said to have engaged the services of Inner Circle Sports and Goldman Sachs to handle the whole process. A number of interested parties have been meeting in Atlanta after the preliminary bids became due on Feb. 24.
The Hawks Current Status
As the Eastern Conference the No. 1 seed, the Atlanta Hawks host on Wednesday night the Brooklyn Nets in first-round series Game 2. Currently Atlanta is leading the series at 1-0. They have secured the Eastern Conference the top seed and are thus set for what may turn out to be a long playoff run. Should they go on to clinch the NBA championship, it’s possible that Adam Silver, the Commissioner could be handing the Larry O’Brien trophy to the present ownership.
Although there is an April 10 deadline for final bids, that date could get shifted because theoretically, additional bids are still under consideration. Nevertheless, reliable sources have indicated with some degree of certainty that as of now, there are only two finalists for the Atlanta Hawks sale bid. The entire process however could take until June for it to be conclusively finalised.