Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Wednesday morning that Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson was progressing on a deal to sell the team to an ownership group led by private equity billionaire Antony Ressler. Reports of the sale began to trickle in across the course of the day, and the Hawks offically announced the sale during their 96-91 Game 2 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
The actual price of the sale wasn’t released, but it has been reported by the Associated Press and other outlets that it’ll be for $850 million, including debt the team owes. Former NBA star Grant Hill is a part of the new ownership group led by Ressler, who released a statement about the deal:
“We are honored and thrilled to have been chosen to become the new stewards of the Hawks,” Ressler said in a statement issued by the team. “We respect the NBA’s approval process and, accordingly, can say no more other than we are incredibly excited by the Hawks’ success and wish them luck in the playoffs.”
The deal must be approved by three-fourths of the NBA’s other owners, but getting that approval isn’t expected to be a problem. Ressler is already a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and attempted to buy the Los Angeles Clippers before Steve Ballmer put in the winning bid of $2 billion.
Levenson put the Hawks on the market back in September after a racially charged email he wrote in 2012 was discovered during the team’s internal investigation of general manager Danny Ferry for racially charged comments made about Luol Deng during a conference call with ownership.