Thanks to that $3 billion deal with Apple to buy Beats By Dre, former Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine has a bit of walking around money now. So, what does a newly minted almost billionaire do with that pile of cash?
Well, make a $1.6 billion bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from disgraced owner Donald Sterling. Duh! According to ESPN.com, the new Apple boss joined a billion-dollar bid for the NBA franchise along with David Geffen, Oprah Winfrey, Oracle Software co-founder Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene, casino mogul Steve Wynn’s ex-wfe Elaine and Guggenheim Partners principals Mark Walter and Todd Boehly.
Sterling was forced to sell the team following the leak of racially insensitive remarks he made in a recording with his assistant, V. Stiviano. Sterling’s wife, Shelly, is overseeing the sale on his behalf following his lifetime ban from the league. Sterling bought the team for $12.5 million in 1981.
Late Thursday night, though, Iovine and company were outbid for the team by former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, whose winning price tag was $2 billion, according to ESPN.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner,” Shelly 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 pledged to keep the team in Los Angeles and not move it to his hometown of Seattle, which lost it previous team, the Supersonics, in 2006 when the new owner changed their name to the Thunder and moved them to Oklahoma City.
Steve Ballmer owning the Clippers is a big win for the City of LA and all the people who live in the City of Angels!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 30, 2014