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

Wed May 28, 2014 3:23pm EDT
 
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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.   Continued...

 
Movie mogul David Geffen (L) sits courtside before the NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles, California, January 28, 2011.   REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson