Hawks to be sold to L.A. businessman: Report

Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson (R) drives around Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng in the second...

Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson (R) drives around Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng in the second half of their Eastern Conference semifinals NBA basketball game in Atlanta, Georgia May 8, 2011. REUTERS file photo

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:42 AM ET

Atlanta, GA - Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo has reportedly reached an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the Atlanta Hawks.

Meruelo gave an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which reported Sunday that the Hawks are expected to announce the transaction on Monday.

The deal would include the rights to Philips Arena and is subject to approval from the NBA Board of Governors.

Meruelo is the founder of a group that owns a range of companies, including a chain of pizza restaurants, construction firms, a casino and a television station. The 48-year-old son of Cuban immigrants would become the first Hispanic owner of an NBA team.

According to the Journal-Constitution, Meruelo would own more than 50 percent of the franchise and the Atlanta Spirit Group would maintain a share of the club.

"I will be in complete control of the team," Meruelo told the paper, although he did not divulge the purchase price.

Despite his Los Angeles roots, Meruelo plans to keep the Hawks in Atlanta.

The sale would be the second this year for the Atlanta Spirit Group, which sold the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers to Canadian group True North Sports & Entertainment  that moved the franchise to Winnipeg.


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