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Report: Kings Minority Partners Have "First Right of Refusal" for Sale of Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Bee reports on a possible snag in the deal between the Maloof Family and the Hansen-Ballmer group. A Bankruptcy Attorney overseeing Robert Cook's 7% share claims that a first right of refusal exists in the partnership agreement.

Another twist in this never-ending rollercoaster.

The Sacramento Bee's Dale Kasler reports today that a "First Right of Refusal" exists in the Partnership Agreement governing ownership of the franchise that gives the limited partners the ability to match any offer for the Kings. This was revealed by Bankruptcy attorney David Flemmer, who is overseeing the 7% of shares that were owned by Kings minority owner Robert Cook until he filed for bankruptcy.

Flemmer plans to assert the minority owners' rights at hearing next Thursday in Sacramento.

"Bankruptcy is a tool; this tool can be effective," Flemmer said. "We are very, very, very concerned that there's a deal being cut that's going to (ignore) that right."

The Bee reports that the Maloofs do not believe the limited partners have a right to match any offer, but if it does indeed exist, that could prove to be a big snag in their plans to sell the team to Hansen-Ballmer. While none of the Kings' current minority owners likely has the wealth necessary to match Seattle's offer, perhaps a partnership with the city's "whale" could do it. That's pure speculation on my part though as I'm not sure if the city was aware of this clause or if this clause will hold up in court.

I'm sure we'll hear more on this in the coming days, especially after next Thursday's bankruptcy hearing.

UPDATE 10:35 AM:

It was pointed out to me on Twitter that Michael Jordan executed a first right of refusal as a minority owner to match an offer for the Bobcats in 2010. ESPN wrote this article about it back then.

UPDATE 11:22 AM:

UPDATE 11:28 PM:

Kasler offers a different date than Bruski on the bid, we'll try confirm for sure whether Apr. 1st or 19th.