Former Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement to buy the basketball team LA CLippers for $2 billion (£1.2bn).

Ballmer, whose personal wealth is an estimated 20.7 billion, reportedly outbid rival offers of $1.2 billion from a group of Los Angeles investors and $1.6 billion from media magnates David Geffen and Oprah Winfrey.

The team was put on the market after the National basketball Association (NBA) banned former owner Donald Sterling for life over his racist comments that widely reported in the media. Sterling has said that he will fight the ruling.

Steve Ballmer was one of Microsoft’s early employees and was chief executive for 14 years until he retired on 4 February this year. He oversaw huge growth of Microsoft’s Windows and Office software packages, as well as the company’s move into gaming with the Xbox. He also managed the company’s transition towards offering a new mobile-focused operating system in Windows 8, after originally dismissing the iPhone as having no chance of gaining market share.



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