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Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011

Hawks to be sold, will stay in Atlanta


ATLANTA — Alex Meruelo and the Atlanta Hawks are poised to make NBA history.

The Hawks scheduled a news conference for Monday to announce the team and Philips Arena are being sold to Meruelo, a person familiar with the deal said Sunday.

The son of Cuban immigrants is a California developer and pizza chain owner. He is expected to become the NBA's first Hispanic majority owner.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made. The deal is subject to the approval of the NBA.

Meruelo, who will have controlling interest of more than 50 percent of the Hawks, was set to attend Monday's news conference. The team will remain in Atlanta.

The Hawks ownership group, led by Michael Gearon Jr. and Bruce Levenson, also recently sold the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers to a group that moved the team to Winnipeg. The Thrashers' deal was for a reported $170 million, including a $60 million relocation fee to be split by the rest of the owners.

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