Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has won the right to buy the Los Angeles Clippers. It took a $2-billion offer to win the bidding war amongst suitors, which will set a record price for an NBA Team — per the Los Angeles Times.
Balmer, 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.
The sale price is almost four times the highest previous NBA franchise sale price — the $550 million paid earlier this month for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is second only to the Dodgers 2012 sale for $2.1 billion as the highest price for any sports team in North America.
Despite that, any tentative deal between Ballmer and the Clippers still must be approved by Donald Sterling before anything becomes official. The deal would also need the approval of 29 other owners, which isn’t expected to be much of a hurdle.
A $2 billion sale price for the Clippers would be a 248% mark-up on the $575 million Forbes valuation from January. Absurd.
— Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) May 29, 2014