SEATTLE - Nintendo of America is selling its majority stake in the Seattle Mariners to a group of minority owners led by new chairman and CEO John Stanton.

Outgoing Chairman Howard Lincoln announced the ownership transaction Wednesday, along with his intent to retire from day-to-day operations overseeing the franchise. Nintendo is selling all but 10 percent of its stake in the franchise and the regional sports network ROOT Sports. The team said it used a valuation of $1.4 billion for the sale.

Stanton's group, First Avenue Entertainment LLP, will own 90 percent of the franchise. Stanton has been a minority owner and will take over daily operations of the franchise. He was also a minority owner of the Seattle SuperSonics as part of the Basketball Club of Seattle.

The ownership change is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, which the club hopes to get during league meetings in August.

Lincoln, 76, has been at the helm since 1999 when he replaced John Ellis.

Lincoln's retirement is the third big shakeup in Mariners management in the last year, after the Mariners hired new general manager Jerry DiPoto in September, and manager Scott Servais in October.

As of last September Lincoln didn't have plans to retire, telling the Seattle P.I. he would retire after the M's made it to the world series, or even the playoffs.