Alex Meruelo, founder and chairman of The Meruelo Group, which owns KWHY-22 in Los Angeles, will become majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he has a signed an agreement with the Atlanta Spirit Group, the current owners of the NBA team, to buy a majority ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks which also includes the operating rights to Philips Arena. Meruelo wouldn’t specify how big a stake he’s buying or the price he’s going to pay for it. The team will stay in Atlanta.
If the NBA Board of Governors approve the deal, Meruelo will be the first Hispanic owner of an NBA franchise.
Besides owning channel 22, the recently purchased station from NBCU, the Meruelo Group owns La Pizza Loca restaurant chain, construction and real estate firms, and a casino – the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno – acquired in February of this year for a reported $42.45 million.