The deadline has passed for Los Angeles Clippers bidders to make offers for the NBA team, according a Bloomberg news report.
Shelly Sterling, wife of disgraced Clippers majority owner Donald Sterling, reportedly met with several interested buyers over the past week with her husband’s authorization, including ex-Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, and a consortium of investors including Ares Management Chairman Tony Ressler.
Bloomberg reported that the deadline expired at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Other interested parties include Los Angeles Dodgers owners Guggenheim Partners and Magic Johnson, as well as a potential ownership trio of Oprah Winfrey, Dreamworks co-founder David Geffen and Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison.
Bank of America Corp. has reportedly been hired to facilitate a sale, which must be approved by NBA owners. That same group can also vote to strip the Sterlings of ownership at a June 3 league meeting.
While the bid process moves forward, Donald Sterling vowed to fight the punishment handed down by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in April as for disparaging comments he made regarding African Americans recorded on a leaked audio tape.
Sterling called the punishment a “sham,” arguing he should be allowed to keep the team since the recording was made in violation of California privacy laws. He also reportedly denied authorizing his wife to negotiate a sale.