Steve Ballmer Buys LA Clippers For $US2 Billion [Report]

Steve Ballmer OxfordSaïd Business School, University of OxfordMicrosoft board member Steve Ballmer

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $US2 billion, Los Angeles Times is reporting.

After former Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life, it seems that everyone has been jumping at the chance to buy the NBA franchise. Last week, he agreed to let his estranged wife, Shelly, sell the team.

Earlier this week, TMZ reported that Ballmer met with Shelly on Sunday afternoon at her mansion in Malibu, California. And later, ESPN confirmed the meeting.

And earlier today, Forbes reported that Ballmer made an offer to buy the team for $US1.8 billion.

A source told the Times that Ballmer outbid L.A.-based investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh, as well as a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, which owns the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Geffen Group reportedly offered $US1.6 billion for the team, with Ressler bidding $US1.2 billion.

But the deal might be not be all smooth sailing. Sterling’s attorney has told CBS News that he hasn’t approved any sale. The deal needs Sterling’s approval before it can move forward.

The deal also needs the approval of the 29 other NBA team owners. They’re expected to approve the deal, however, if Ballmer agrees to keep the team in Los Angeles, which he has stated publicly that he will do. Ballmer lives in Seattle, but he told the Wall Street Journal, “If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles.”

Last year, he was part of a group who wanted to buy the Kings and move them out of Sacramento.

Now ESPN is reporting that the deal hasn’t quite gone through.

Sterling was banned from the NBA for life last month after an audio tape of him making racist remarks to his girlfriend was leaked to the press.

This story is developing, and will be updated as we learn more.

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