Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Steve Ballmer Buying the Clippers for $2 Billion

The former Microsoft CEO has won the bid to buy the team from Shelly and Donald Sterling with a record price for an NBA team

By: Daniel Koren

Published: May 30th, 2014 in Sports » Local

Two weeks ago, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was seen sitting courtside next to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at a Clippers playoff game.

Since then, rumors of Ballmer’s intention to buy the disgruntled franchise have been going full throttle. Now, it appears the reports are true.

The LA Times reports that Ballmer has won the bid to purchase the Clippers from Shelly Sterling, who has been feverishly trying to sell the team before the NBA ousted her and Donald out of the league, with a whopping $2 billion offer.

It would set a record price for an NBA team, and roughly four times the amount most NBA teams are sold for – the Milwaukee Bucks were recently sold for just $550 million.

Ballmer outbid other competitors that were in the race to own the Clippers, including one from David Geffen and the Guggenheim Group (who own the L.A. Dodgers) and L.A. investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh.

Geffen offered reportedly $1.6 billion for the team, with Resssler and Karsh offering $1.2 billion.

Ballmer and Shelly Sterling came to an agreement late Thursday, but as Donald Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini reports, there hasn’t been an actual sale yet.

“There can be no sale without Donald’s signature,” the lawyer stated.

Once the transaction is finalized it will be the second highest price ever paid for a sports team in North America. In 2012, the Dodgers sold for $2.1 billion.

The deal will also require the approval of 75% of the remaining 29 NBA owners, though that’s not expected to be a problem, as long as Ballmer fulfills his promise of keeping the team in Los Angeles, and not move the team to his hometown of Seattle.

The 58-year-old Ballmer, who left Microsoft in February, has an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

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