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.”
Winfrey’s spokesperson, Nicole Nichols, issued a statement later Wednesday, confirming Geffen’s claim. “Oprah Winfrey is in discussions with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to make a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers should the team become available,” Nichols said in the statement.
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.
What could catch his eye that could cost billions? “Well, if I wanted to buy the Los Angeles Lakers,” he said. “I could go buy the Los Angeles Lakers.” He conceded that the Lakers aren’t for sale. He said buying the team “is a very expensive way to get floor seats.” But the Lakers “are my favorite team.”
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.”
Matt Steinmetz: Larry Ellison walked away from developing Piers 30/32. Indicated regulations were too onerous. Long, long way to go at this location.
Heisley, who is asking for $350 million, acknowledged that there is one other suitor. “But I don’t know how if he’s serious,” Heisley said. “I think I’ll own the team for a while.”
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 the source, the only way the lease can be broken is if the team fails to meet certain benchmarks in either attendance, suite sales or club seat sales at FedEx. If the Grizzlies fall short in any of those categories — starting next season, according to the source, if this current season is counted as a “full” one — the city and surrounding county would have two months to make up the shortfall. If they failed to do so, Heisley could sell the team, though Memphis would still have the right of first refusal to match the sale price. If that didn’t happen, the team could end the lease and be free to leave, provided the current (or, presumably, new) owner paid up in full. It is onerous.
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.
If Ellison buys the Grizzlies and seeks to relocate the franchise, it would likely be challenging. The team has a restrictive lease with the city and there would no doubt be legal challenges. The FedEx Forum lease runs through 2021, but according to one source, there are attendance clauses that kick in during 2017 that would allow the team to move if certain thresholds are not met.
Ellison, the Oracle Corp. CEO and one of the richest men in the world, is in advanced talks with Memphis owner Michael Heisley to buy the Grizzlies, according to multiple sources. Two of those sources said it is possible that Ellison and Heisley have a “handshake agreement” on the transaction.
“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.”
Californian Larry Ellison, ranked as the third-richest person in the U.S., has inquired about buying the Memphis Grizzlies with apparent hopes of moving the team to San Jose. But majority team owner Michael Heisley today downplayed the possibility of a sale — and of a relocation, citing a lease that ties the franchise to Memphis and FedExForum until 2021.
16 Nov 11
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.
Of course, any Ellison/San Jose effort would involve Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, the company that runs the Sharks and the arena and has sought an NBA co-tenant for years. “We’ve always been interested in having an NBA team come to the facility,” said Malcolm Bordelon, SVS&E executive president for business operations.
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.
ORACLE founder Larry Ellison, who lost out when the Warriors were sold earlier this season, claims he offered to buy the Hornets for $350 million, with designs to move the team to San Jose. League insiders say his offer was for $250 million. The league bought the Hornets for around $310 million.
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.
San Jose believes it can provide fans and corporate sponsors to an NBA team at HP Pavilion. “I think there is a lot of interest in moving a basketball team to San Jose. But at this point, it’s just speculation about what Larry Ellison might be interested in doing,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed in response to the Forbes.com article.