Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has finalized his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
The sale must now be approved by NBA owners. Donald Sterling's presence is a wild card: the current Clippers owner is refusing to sell, according to his lawyers, but it's unclear whether that matters.
Ballmer's agreement will go straight to the NBA for final approval, source tells ESPN.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
In other words, the signed binding agreement btwn the Sterling family trust & Ballmer for $2b does not need another sign-off from Donald.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
Ballmer stepped up to the plate to offer a whopping $2 billion offer. Several other potential ownership groups, including one headed by David Geffen and one led by a pair of L.A. investors, dropped out of the running on Thursday, according to ESPN. Ballmer's offer was reportedly the highest bid for the team and stands as the most paid for an NBA team to-date, beating out the $550 million purchase price for the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this year.
Assuming Donald Sterling does not change his mind, the situation now turns to the remaining 29 owners to sign off on the deal. The league has to approve all sales, but Ballmer was previously vetted when he put in a bid to purchase the Sacramento Kings in 2013.