Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - A group led by billionaire Tony Ressler has reached an agreement to buy the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, the team said Wednesday.
The deal, which requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors, was announced by the Hawks during Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against Brooklyn.
Ressler, who co-founded the asset management firm Ares Management, has an estimated net worth of $1.43 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
His group includes seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, Spanx founder Sara Blakely and Marquis Jet co-founder Jesse Itzler, among others.
Terms of the sale -- which includes operation of Philips Arena -- were not announced, but The Associated Press reported Ressler's group agreed to pay $850 million, including debt owed by the team.
"We are honored and thrilled to have been chosen to become the new stewards of the Hawks," Ressler said in a statement issued through 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."
Said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin: "We are excited to welcome this new ownership group and are deeply gratified by its commitment to the Hawks and the Atlanta community. We are pleased that the group is committed to continue building on the franchise's storied history and recent success."
Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson decided in September to sell his controlling interest in the Hawks in the wake of a racially insensitive email he wrote two years ago.