Bank of America has been hired to arrange a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and has already approached potential buyers, according to media reports.
Bloomberg News reported that Shelly Sterling wants at least $1 billion for the team, which finished the regular season with the third-best record in the league, a person with knowledge of the process said last week.
Chuck Baker, who heads sports mergers and acquisitions as a partner in DLA Piper’s Global Sports, Media and Entertainment practice, said the team might fetch as much as $1.5 billion.
“This will likely be the most hotly bidded sports asset since the Dodgers,” Baker told Bloomberg News. “There are a number of strong buyers in the L.A. market that are both viable and eager for a trophy asset.”
The NBA barred Donald Sterling, the team’s managing partner, for life for making racist statements and Commissioner Adam Silver said he would push owners to force a sale of the team. Donald Sterling has until today to respond to the charge.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly at her Malibu mansion to discuss buying the Clippers. TMZ first reported the story, which was later confirmed by ESPN.
NBA owners could vote to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the franchise if a deal to sell the team isn’t completed by June 3.