Hawks Sale Imminent

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the team’s home Philips Arena could have a new owner and operator in California businessman Alex Meruelo, who recently inked a deal to purchase a majority stake of the team.

Although Meruelo is a Southern California native, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he has “absolutely” no desire to move the team and plans to buy a home in Atlanta as well.

“If you look at my previous … business ventures, I’m very hands-on, and this will be no different,” he said. “I want to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta.”

Meruelo’s other holdings include a Southern California chain of 50 pizza restaurants, a Spanish TV station, a Reno, Nev., hotel-casino, a bank and residential and commercial real estate, the paper said.

The agreement, which is subject to approval by the NBA’s board of directors, would make Meruelo the first Hispanic majority owner of a team.

Current owner the Atlanta Spirit Group will reportedly maintain a minority ownership position, but terms of the deal were not disclosed.