LOS ANGELES - A group that includes billionaire media executive David Geffen, television icon Oprah Winfrey and Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison bid more than $1.5 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team, according to a person familiar with the bid.
The bid from the group, which had expanded to include Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter and President Todd Boehly in the days leading up to the bid, was one of several expected for the franchise.
The Clippers came up for sale after owner Donald Sterling came under fire for racist remarks. Former Microsoft Corp CEO Steve Ballmer has put in a $1.8 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers, the second-highest price ever paid for a U.S. sports team, Forbes cited a person familiar with Ballmer's interest in the club as saying.
Forbes did not make clear if the multi-billionaire, who stepped down as CEO but remains on the board and still owns about 4 percent of the Redmond software giant, is bidding on his own or as part of a larger group.
The person familiar with the bid, who had no direct knowledge of Ballmer's intentions, told Reuters the billionaire had not submitted a bid. Ballmer declined to comment through his representatives.
Sterling, controlling owner of the Clippers for 33 years, was banned from the National Basketball Association after an audio recording surfaced of him criticizing a female friend for publicly associating with black people.
His comments sparked widespread outrage from fans and NBA players and led several commercial sponsors to sever ties with the team.