LA Clippers Under Agreement To Be Sold For $2 Billion To Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly in the process of being sold to former Microsoft Executive Steve Ballmer for $ 2 billion.

According to Ramona Shelburne from ESPN there is already a signed binding agreement between the Sterling Family Trust and Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer and Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling signed the deal late Thursday afternoon after banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling was  determined to be mentally incapacitated by experts which allowed his wife Shelly to be the sole trustee and power to deal directly with Ballmer.

The signed agreement will be fast tracked to the NBA for final approval.

The league requires 75 percent acceptance among the league’s 30 owners before an NBA team is sold.

Ballmer’s $2 billion offer beat out offers from 2 other competing groups.

The first group included David Geffen and Guggenheim Group executives and a second group included Los Angeles investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh, according to ESPN.

The Geffen group bid came in at 1.6 billion, higher than the Ressler bid of $1.2 billion. Both of those offers were rejected.

Shelly Sterling and her husband Donald Sterling are currently in the process of divorcing.

In late April Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million for making racist remarks to his girlfriend who recorded their conversation.

The tape later surfaced on TMZ and created public backlash against the Clippers organization until NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took decisive action and banned Clipper owner Donald Sterling from the NBA.

Donald has been the majority owner of the Clippers since he bought the team for $ 12 million in 1981.

A sale of $ 2 billion for the Clippers to Steve Ballmer would be the second highest price tag paid for a professional franchise and is nearly four times the cost of the Milwaukee Bucks which were recently sold this month for $550 million to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.

The LA Dodgers were sold in May of 2012 for $2.1 billion, the largest sum paid for a professional sports team in the U.S.

Steve Ballmer has an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

He retired as CEO of Microsoft last August and was unsuccessful in joining a group of investors hoping to acquire the Sacramento King from the Maloof Family in the spring of 2013 after the deal was rejected by the NBA and later approved by a group led by TIBCO Software chairman Vivek Ranadive for $534 million.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

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