Steve Ballmer, a former chief executive officer (CEO) for Microsoft, has won the bidding war for the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion—a record price for a sale of an NBA team.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting Ballmer’s bid was higher than the $1.6B tender from Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh and the $1.2B offer from the Guggenhein Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The latter group also included David Geffen, the founder of DreamWorks SKG, Asylum Records, Geffen Records, and DGC Records.
If the sale goes through, Donald Sterling will have a 15,900 per cent return of investment for the franchise he bought for $12.5 million in 1981. It would be four times higher than the previous high for sale of an NBA franchise; the Milwaukee Bucks got sold for $550M earlier in May.
Sterling was forced to sell the team after racists comments by the owner were made public in April.
There are mixed reports that Sterling won’t sell the team and that he will fight the NBA “to the bitter end” but agreement between Ballmer and Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling, the wife of Donald were made on Thursday for the deal to be consummated.
"There's been no sale. There can be no sale without Donald's signature," according to Bobby Samini, who represents Donald Sterling.
Aside from the approval of Sterling, three-fourths of all the 30 NBA owners need to vote for the sale.
The 58-year-old Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft from January 2000 to February 2014. His personal worth is estimated at $20.7 billion and ranks 32nd in the Forbes 400 list.