Guggenheim execs say they joined Geffen bid for NBA's Clippers

Movie mogul David Geffen sits courtside before the NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles

View photo

Movie mogul David Geffen (L) sits courtside before the NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers …

By Ronald Grover

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The co-founder of investment bank Guggenheim Partners and its president are helping billionaire media executive David Geffen put together a group to bid on the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team.

Guggenheim said in a statement on Wednesday that co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Walter and President Todd Boehly are joining Geffen's existing group of bidders, which includes television icon Oprah Winfrey and Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison.

Among competing bidders are former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and billionaire Anthony Ressler.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling, banned from the National Basketball Association for racist remarks, has handed controlling interest in his team to his wife Shelly Sterling, the co-owner. She began negotiating with the league to sell the club, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources.

Guggenheim said in a statement that the two top executives were teaming up with Geffen to put together a bid, but that the bank itself was not officially involved in the process.

"Guggenheim is not involved in any way," a spokesman wrote in an e-mail. "Mark Walter and Todd Boehly are working with David Geffen and others to put together a bid to buy the Clippers."

Bids are due at 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the bidding process. A decision could be made by the end of the week.

In 2012, Walter headed a group including basketball great Magic Johnson that bought the LA Dodgers baseball team for $2.15 billion. Johnson has said he would likely join the bid if his Guggenheim partners made an offer.

Ressler met with Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling at a Malibu restaurant last weekend to discuss a potential bid, according to the source with knowledge of the bidding process. Representatives for Ballmer and Ressler could not be reached immediately.

The NBA has scheduled a hearing for June 3, when Donald Sterling can address the charges to his fellow owners. The league could vote to terminate his ownership of the franchise, which would require backing by 23 of the other 29 owners, the NBA said in a May 19 press release.

In a letter to the NBA, Donald Sterling said he had received offers for more than $2.5 billion for the franchise but did not identify potential buyers.

Donald Sterling, controlling owner of the Clippers for 33 years, came under fire when posted an audio recording of him criticizing a female friend for publicly associating with black people, including Johnson.

(Reporting By Ronald Grover; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • GAME RECAP: Mavericks 122, Lakers 73

      GAME RECAP: Mavericks 122, Lakers 73

      Justin Anderson scores 19 points as the Mavericks defeat the Lakers, 122-73. … More » - 26 minutes ago
    • Mavs romp to 13th win in row vs. Lakers

      Mavs romp to 13th win in row vs. Lakers

      Justin Anderson scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 13 to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the Los Angeles Lakers 122-73 on Sunday. It was the Mavericks' 13th straight win over the Lakers, who have lost six of their last seven games this season. … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
    • Hornets begin week with matchup against Wizards

      If there were any doubts about Charlotte being a viable threat in the Eastern Conference, those questions were erased after the Hornets' past two games. On Friday, guard Kemba Walker led the Hornets to a 113-78 rout of the Toronto Raptors, one of … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
    • Warriors roll by Magic, push run to 7

      Warriors roll by Magic, push run to 7

      The noon Eastern Standard Time tipoff was more than a little challenging for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Tied at halftime, the Warriors woke up. Curry and Klay Thompson each finished with seven 3-pointers and the Warriors won … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 26 minutes ago
    • TOP 10 Assists of the Week

      TOP 10 Assists of the Week

      Check out the best dishes and dimes in this edition of the Top 10 Assists of the Week. … More » - 1 hour 59 minutes ago