Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has officially won the bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. According to reports, he offered a record $2 billion for the team, sole trustee Shelly Sterling has announced.
In a news release from Greenberg Glusker, Sterling’s counsel, she said she had signed a binding contract to sell the team to Ballmer on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the club.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner. 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, 58, who retired as head of Microsoft in February, remains on the board and still owns about 4% of the software giant, worth $13.4bn.
Last year, he joined a group that unsuccessfully bid on the Sacramento Kings basketball team. A long-time basketball fan, until a few years ago he played a regular pickup game with colleagues at a public gym near the Microsoft campus.
It is unclear how the team’s potential sale will affect a 3 June hearing the NBA scheduled at which Donald Sterling can address the accusations against him. At that meeting, the owners could force him to sell the team on a vote by 23 of the remaining 29 owners, the NBA has said.