The investment group that reached a purchase and sale agreement to buy 65 percent of the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family in January has formally submitted paperwork to the NBA to relocate the franchise to Seattle.

NBA commissioner David Stern told reporters in Minnesota on Wednesday the Seattle-based investment group led by Valiant Capital’s Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has filed the paperwork in advance of the March 1 deadline. According to reports, the group’s plan is to relocate the franchise in advance of the 2013-14 season.

The Associated Press reported Stern called the investment group “very strong” and the “appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move to Seattle.”

The filing was an anticipated procedural step. Any prospective sale of an NBA franchise is subject to ratification by the league’s Board of Governors and any prospective relocation must be approved by its relocation committee. Yahoo! Sports reported in January the NBA’s relocation committee is expected to “overwhelmingly ratify” the planned move to Seattle.