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US judge approves LA Clippers sale to ex-Microsoft CEO

Published on Jul 29, 2014 6:59 AM
 

LOS ANGELES, July 28, 2014 (AFP) - A US judge on Monday gave the go-ahead for the US$2 billion (S$2.5 billion) sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, ruling that embattled owner Donald Sterling could not block the move.

The ruling by California Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas came after a three-week trial pitting the 80-year-old Sterling - barred from the National Basketball Association for life for making racist remarks - against his estranged wife Shelly, who made the deal with Ballmer.

Levanas said the sale could go forward immediately, even if Donald Sterling - who had challenged his wife's authority to sell the NBA franchise - appeals. He had 15 days to file an objection to the ruling.

Shelly Sterling negotiated the sale on behalf of the family trust, after Donald Sterling's position as co-trustee was terminated when two medical experts declared the billionaire real estate mogul mentally incompetent to handle trust affairs.

Shelly Sterling, 79, (2nd right) speaks at a news conference with her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell (right) and Steve Ballmer's lawyer Adam Streisand (2nd left) in Los Angeles, California on July 28, 2014. A US judge on Monday gave the go-ahead for the US$2 billion (S$2.5 billion) sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, ruling that embattled owner Donald Sterling could not block the move. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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