Steve Ballmer buys NBA team for $2bn

Acting owner Shelly Sterling confirms final papers have been signed

Tags: Mergers and acquisitionsMicrosoft CorporationUSA
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Steve Ballmer buys NBA team for $2bn Ballmer: I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win
By  Tom Paye Published  May 30, 2014

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has purchased National Basketball Association (NBA) team the Los Angeles Clippers for $2bn, according to a statement from the team's acting owner, Shelly Sterling.

According to a report from ESPN, Ballmer signed the papers sealing the deal late on Thursday night. While the team is technically owned by Donald Sterling, Mrs. Sterling was acting owner due to her disgraced husband's expulsion from the NBA over racist comments.

The buy represents the largest team sale ever recorded in NBA history. That record was previously held by the Milwuakee Bucks, which sold for $550m earlier this month.

"I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner," Mrs. Sterling said in a statement.

"We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."

Ballmer has made no secret of his desire to own an NBA team. Last year, he made a bid to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle, where Microsoft is based. That bid was rejected by the NBA.

Ballmer has said, however, that he will not be looking to relocate the Clippers.

"I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win - and win big - in Los Angeles," ESPN quoted him as saying.  

"LA is one of the world's great cities - a city that embraces inclusiveness, in exactly the same way that the NBA and I embrace inclusiveness. I am confident that the Clippers will in the coming years become an even bigger part of the community."

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