Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks are officially for sale.

The NBA franchise, which has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 27-8 as of Jan. 8, has retained Goldman Sachs & Co. and Inner Circle Sports LLC to advise on the sale of the club and ancillary assets.

Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson decided to sell his controlling interest in the franchise back in September in the wake of a racially insensitive e-mail he wrote two years ago.

Last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that 100 percent of the franchise would be available and on Thursday the club released a statement to confirm the initiation of the process.

"The Atlanta Hawks today announced that its owners have unanimously approved a plan to sell the franchise and the Philips Arena operating rights," the team's release said. "The sale will commence immediately."

According to the paper, several prospective buyers have already inquired about the franchise. The process is expected to take a few months.