Exclusive: Ellison eyes fellow billionaire's AEG empire - sources

Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:53pm EDT
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By Ronald Grover and Nadia Damouni

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK - (Reuters) - Oracle Corp's Larry Ellison, known for his taste for the finer things in life, is now intrigued by a multibillion dollar sports and entertainment empire.

Ellison, who recently bought a Hawaiian island, is interested in a potential bid for Anschutz Entertainment Group, owned by fellow billionaire Phil Anschutz, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Ellison's interest in AEG, whose owner wants initial bids in the $10 billion range, is preliminary, the sources said.

One of the attractions for Ellison, the third wealthiest man in America who has previously tried to buy sports teams and failed, is that AEG would allow him to buy and relocate a National Football League team to Los Angeles.

The auction for AEG has just started, with investment bankers at Blackstone Advisory Partners sending initial information to bidders earlier this week. The information memorandum, which describes the business but has no financial information, was expected to go to dozens of parties.

Ellison was expected to receive the information memorandum this week, one of the sources said.

Representatives for Ellison, Anschutz and Blackstone declined to comment.

Ellison's name adds to a growing list of billionaires, trade buyers, private equity firms, investment firms and sovereign wealth funds showing an initial interest in the business.   Continued...

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison speaks at the company's headquarters in Redwood City, California June 6, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith