Larry Ellison Rumors

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.
Geffen said he and Ellison would run the team, while Winfrey would be an investor. “Oprah is not interested in running the team,” Geffen told Schaap. “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own [another] franchise. The team deserves a better group of owners who want to win. Larry would sooner die than fail. I would sooner die than fail. Larry’s a sportsman. We’ve talked about this for a long time. Between the three of us, we have a good shot.”
Oprah Winfrey is considering teaming with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to make a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, sources told ESPN. Geffen, a music and film mogul with a net worth that Forbes estimates at $6.2 billion, reportedly tried to buy at least a controlling stake in the Clippers in 2010 but was rebuffed by Sterling. Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, a business software and technology company, has attempted to purchase several sports teams in recent years.
From the sounds of it, the big, geeky glasses Iguodala wears aren’t just for looks, unlike some of his NBA brethren. He says he has gone to seminars about investing and how to run a team, and hopes to own an NBA and a WNBA franchise. He plans to pick the brain of Warriors owner and successful venture capitalist Joe Lacob, and calls himself the “biggest fan” of Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp., based in Santa Clara, Calif. He interned at Bank of America Merrill Lynch during the lockout two years ago.
The duration of the process – coupled with the fluidity of the Sacramento group that includes Vivek Ranadive, Mark Mastrov, Paul Jacobs and Mark Friedman that has yet to deliver a formal bid – prompted the Maloofs on Wednesday to leak the ultimatum about today’s deadline. On Thursday, the sources said: • An agreement that keeps the Kings in Sacramento must include reimbursement to Hansen for his $30 million nonrefundable deposit. • Before being completely surprised by the size of the Hansen/Ballmer offer, the Maloofs had rejected overtures from Ron Burkle and Larry Ellison. Ellison would have attempted to relocate the Kings to San Jose.
Sacramento Kings minority owner Bob Cook told The Sacramento Bee today that he has asked a Bay Area sports attorney to broker a meeting between Larry Ellison, the third-richest man in America, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in hopes of helping Johnson’s effort to find a buyer willing to keep the Sacramento Kings in town. Cook, part of the original group that brought the NBA team to Sacramento, told The Bee today he stepped back after making an initial phone call Monday to an associate who knows Ellison, but said he believes a meeting will occur toward the end of this week.
Now we know why Larry Ellison needs $4 billion in loans and credit. The Oracle (ORCL) CEO revealed the mystery behind the $4.2 billion worth of stock that he pledged as collateral for loans and credit lines, in an exclusive interview today with Maria Bartiromo on “Closing Bell.” He doesn’t owe $4 billion, he said. He doesn’t even owe $1 billion. The stock was for a multi-billion-dollar credit line that he could use if he “went shopping.” “I’ve got a line of credit just in case I go shopping and something catches my eye,” he said.
Heisley had had discussions last year with billionaire Larry Ellison, who has been looking to buy an NBA team. But the discussions stalled when Ellison made clear his desire to move the Grizzlies to California. “We were not interested in getting involved in a relocation discussion,” Heisley said Monday. “Mr. Ellison chose to go to the paper in San Jose, or one of his people did, which really did not please me too much.”
Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley reiterated today his doubt that the franchise will be sold anytime soon. How can Heisley be so sure? He’s instructed his attorney, Stan Meadows, to stop negotiating with Oracle founder Larry Ellison because of Ellison’s repeated overtures about relocating the team. “We’re not even considering Ellison,” Heisley said. “This team cannot be moved.”
No one doubts that Ellison has the money — “if Larry Ellison wants to buy a team, he can buy a team,” said a former NBA team executive of the man Forbes Magazine says is the third-richest in the country — or doubts his intentions. The problem for Ellison — unlike any of the other prospective buyers, which include a group headed by Grizzlies minority owner Pitt Hyde, the founder of the AutoZone parts company — is that Memphis protected itself against just such a scenario when FedEx Forum was built in 2004. The city negotiated a series of painful buyouts for any owner seeking to break the lease. The original cost to break the lease was $175 million, according to a source with knowledge of the agreement, but that price has dropped in recent years.
Ellison, the Oracle founder, has made no secret of his desire to buy a team and move it to the San Jose area. He tried, unsuccessfully, to buy the Warriors, tapping out when the price got too rich for even his blood. (By the way, don’t get it twisted; it’s not that he didn’t have the $450 million that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid for the team, it’s that he didn’t think the team was worth that price.) And he acknowledged looking into the Hornets as well. The fact that he’s still looking for an NBA team will no doubt make the league happy, and highlights that Heisley is still actively looking for a buyer. Heisley has said time and time again he wants to sell to someone who will keep the team in Memphis, but any talks with Ellison are sure to stir up the agita down south.
According to three sources, Lacob and the Warriors’ ownership team know that Ellison is trying to buy Memphis. When Ellison was trying to buy the Warriors from previous owner Chris Cohan, he was partnered with four of franchise’s minority owners at the time. Sources confirmed that the former Warriors minority group – comprised of Jim Davidson, Michael Marks and John Thompson – are not a part of Ellison’s bid in Memphis.
“I can’t downplay it enough. If it happens I’ll be surprised,” said Heisley, a Chicago-based billionaire who added that talks had not become serious. “It’s in the initial stages. We’ve handled this just like we’ve handled several other dozen requests. My situation in Memphis has not changed a lick. My preference will always be for somebody in Memphis to buy the team. There’s not any interest in Memphis. But we’ve always made it known that if somebody wants to buy the team, we’ll listen. If they’re real buyers we’ll probably be sellers. So far there hasn’t been anyone willing to buy the team under my terms and for my price.”
Did you have offers from other suitors during that period? It has been reported that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wanted to buy the team and potentially move it to the West Coast. Shinn: Larry made a public statement that he had made an offer for $350 million. And that’s true. He did. I still have the offer signed, but I just couldn’t do it. I could not sell it to him. I could have gotten $50 million more for the team. But I just couldn’t do it. I knew his goal was one thing. He wants a team, but he wants it in California.
Could Larry Ellison and the NBA move into the South Bay before both the A’s and the 49ers? It’s possible. It’s plausible. It’s a lot to take in — there are potential barriers, votes, negotiations and further complications, no doubt. But the prospect of Ellison buying a struggling franchise and moving it to HP Pavilion is real enough to have spawned interested conversation at very high levels.
Forbes reported this week that the Warriors could stand to make $100 million to $150 million if another team moved to San Jose, but a league source disputed that figure. Relocation fees are shared equally among all of the league’s franchises unless the board of governors voted to make a special exception and awarded the Warriors a larger share. The Warriors are expected to eventually seek a move to San Francisco, a franchise source said, and would likely fight another franchise’s attempt to move into the market.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison confirmed this week he tried to buy the New Orleans Hornets from outgoing owner George Shinn, but was rebuffed. One league source said Shinn turned down the offer because he thought Ellison intended to move the franchise to San Jose, Calif., and instead wanted to find a buyer committed to keeping it in New Orleans. The source said Shinn tried to sell the Hornets to minority owner Gary Chouset for less than Ellison’s offer before agreeing to sell the franchise to the NBA for $300 million. Yahoo! Sports first reported on Dec. 3 that Ellison – whose bid to buy the Golden State Warriors also failed – had conversations with the Hornets and was interested in moving a team to San Jose.
A story on Forbes Magazine’s website that indicated Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a billionaire who was unsuccessful in his attempt to purchase the Warriors, might be ready to buy the Hornets for $450 million and move the team to San Jose, Calif. Sources with knowledge of the Hornets’ situation dismissed the veracity of the story, and they said no talks with Ellison had taken place and that the goal remained to keep the team in New Orleans with local ownership.
Ellison later told Bay Area News Group that he had not made up his mind about what to do with the Hornets, had he been able to buy them. “I was trying to buy the team first, and then figure out what I was going to do with it,” he said. Still, the news that Ellison made an offer for the team demonstrated that the world’s sixth-richest man, an avowed sports enthusiast, is undeterred by his failed effort to gain control of the Warriors.
Larry Ellison, the billionaire CEO of Oracle who’s had extraordinary success buying a string of tech companies, confirmed Wednesday that he recently failed in a second attempt to buy a professional basketball franchise, fewer than six months after his surprising loss in a bidding war for the Golden State Warriors. “I did offer $350 million” for the New Orleans Hornets, Ellison told reporters, adding that he was “slightly outbid” by the National Basketball Association when the league bought the bankrupt team last month from owners George Shinn and Gary Chouest.
Chouest is a Louisiana native with political and business ties to the state, so it would be a surprise for him to move the franchise if he’s able to purchase it from current owner George Shinn. If a deal with Chouset isn’t completed, league sources said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison remains intrigued about buying an NBA franchise after losing out on the Golden State Warriors. It’s possible Ellison could seek to move an existing franchise to San Jose, Calif., which has an 18,500-seat arena.
That could have been with the Warriors if Oracle boss Larry Ellison had bought the team. West has known Ellison for years and said the two talked several months ago about His Logoness as part of a possible management team in Oakland, West confirmed publicly for the first time. It appealed to West because of the relationship with Ellison and the proximity of an hour plane ride from West’s permanent home in Los Angeles, but became moot once Joe Lacob and Peter Guber beat Ellison to the Warriors in a surprise outcome. “I haven’t spoken to him since, but he would have been a great owner and I’m sure the people up there knowing his ability to get things done, it would have been a great thing,” West said, adding he has not spoken with Lacob or Guber. “But, obviously this other group was very, very impressive in their own right, and I’m sure that they’ll do a great job up there. That is a franchise that does have a lot of possibilities.”
When mega-billionaire Larry Ellison somehow lost the Golden State Warriors to a partnership led by a venture capitalist named Joseph A. Lacob, the common reaction was, “Who?” Lacob — rhymes with Jacob — is not nearly as well known as several of his partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where Lacob leads the Life Sciences group along with Brook Byers. But Lacob’s upset over Ellison, Oracle’s founder and CEO, has suddenly transformed him into a kingpin of Bay Area sports. “I think this is his arrival moment,” said Jamis MacNiven, the owner of Buck’s, the Woodside eatery popular with tech wheeler-dealers. Lacob, 54, is “at the top of his game.” Some of the chatter at Buck’s, MacNiven said, includes vicarious “gloating” that Ellison was beaten at his own game. But now Lacob has the task of winning over long-suffering Warrior fans who were openly rooting for Ellison and his deep pockets to turn the troubled franchise into a winner. So what kind of owner will Lacob be?
When Chris Cohan, the owner of the Golden State Warriors since 1995, put the team up for sale in March, he had a price in mind. That figure — $450 million — was met Thursday morning when dark-horse candidate Joseph Lacob, a part owner of the Boston Celtics, emerged as the majority owner of the team. Perhaps the bigger news was that Lacob’s group, which includes Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber, had beaten out heavy favorite Larry Ellison, the billionaire CEO of Oracle, which has the naming rights to the Warriors’ home court, the Oracle Arena in Oakland. “We’re all about winning,” said Lacob, a managing partner with Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “We think it’s a very good opportunity as a business enterprise and the (financial) potential is there. But this is all about winning. We’re going to change the course of the franchise.”
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will not be the next owner of the Golden State Warriors. A potential deal between Ellison’s consortium, which includes the current Warriors’ minority ownership group, fell through, according to a source close to the negotiations. “Although I was the highest bidder, Chris Cohan decided to sell to someone else. In my experience this is a bit unusual. Nonetheless, I wish the Warriors and their fans nothing but success under their new ownership,” Ellison said in a statement released Thursday.
Meetings to finalize the Warriors’ sale to billionaire software magnate Larry Ellison continued late into Wednesday night, the second consecutive workday that extended well past the close of business. Most sources with knowledge of the bidding process went mute Wednesday, signifying movement toward a deal that was deemed “imminent” a day earlier and sparking speculation about why there hasn’t been a conclusion.
It’s down to Oracle king Larry Ellison and venture capitalist Joseph Lacob for control of the Warriors, Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times reports. Ellison can crush almost anyone he chooses, and not just in the basketball world, but he could decide the price tag is a bad deal and back out. Either way, the winner will be extremely popular, just for not being Cohan. If Ellison or Lacob wants to jump right to being nominated for sainthood, he will approach Chris Mullin about returning to the organization. It wouldn’t be as head of basketball operations, and not sure if Mullin would accept a secondary role even if it means being able to live in what basically has been his home since leaving St. John’s. But the reunion would be greeted by a roar of approval.
Sources who made time to talk continued to assure that Ellison, the Oracle Corp. CEO, will be the winning bidder. However, current owner Chris Cohan, according to sources, has two offers that will make the franchise’s overall value more than $400 million. Ellison is looking to buy 80 percent of the team, leaving incumbent minority owners Michael Marks, Jim Davidson, John Thompson and Fred Harman in place. Mandalay Entertainment Group Chairman Peter Guber reportedly remains a viable suitor for 100 percent of the franchise, but sources said his group could be used only to boost Ellison’s bid.
Billionaire software titan Larry Ellison is close to acquiring the Warriors from the team’s current owner, Chris Cohan, sources close to the negotiations said Tuesday night. According to those sources, Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp., outbid 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, among others. If the current deal is completed, Ellison would control 80 percent of the franchise, and incumbent minority owners Michael Marks, Jim Davidson, John Thompson and Fred Harman would retain their stakes.
But, as was frequently pointed out to me by multiple sources throughout the process, there was one way to quicken that pace: If Ellison made a drop-dead bid, and if Cohan took it. And this isn’t August. We’re weeks away from August. If there’s a deal to be announced, it’ll have Ellison’s name on it. What of the talk of Mark Mastrov’s group getting into the lead, and the uncertain word about exactly who the two finalists were? (MT-2 has done KILLER reporting on this, all the way.) I’ve heard that the Ellison group mainly considered the ”finalist” talk of the past few weeks as “misdirection.” It was always Ellison and the 20%-ers who had the main line into ownership and I think we’re seeing that bear out.
Sources vary greatly on the final price tag, ranging from those who believe Ellison will uphold his initial $315 million bid to others who think the price tag will top the $401 million cost, the NBA record, of the Phoenix Suns in 2004. There are sources who believe the deal was completed late Tuesday night in negotiations in New York, and others who merely characterized the conclusion as “imminent.” Among the things sources agree upon is that Ellison submitted the winning bid and that, as a potential owner who was pre-approved by the league, his takeover shouldn’t encounter obstacles after the deal is finalized.