Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has reportedly won the bidding for the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise, with a $2 billion offer. As Marketplace has reported, less successful teams in smaller markets have sold for just a fraction of that figure.
According to the Los Angeles Times, this sale would be the biggest in NBA history:
Ballmer, who was chief executive of Microsoft for 14 years, was chosen over competitors that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh and a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said the Geffen group bid $1.6 billion and Ressler at $1.2 billion.
Any sale would still need to be approved by league owners, who shot down Ballmer’s earlier bid for the Sacramento Kings.
Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling has chosen to sell the team five days ahead of an NBA hearing to take the team out of her family’s hands. Her husband and former co-owner, billionaire Donald Sterling, bought the team for $12 million 30 years ago.
Thus, the man banned, chastised and fined for racist comments — could be looking at a pay day of billions of dollars.
Read Marketplace’s past coverage of the Clippers’ regime change:
- “If the Clippers are for sale, what’s the franchise worth?”
- “How Donald Sterling won ‘humanitarian awards‘”
- “Donald Sterling donates a lot of Clippers tickets“
- “Sizing Up Donald Sterling’s other business interests“