SBD/October 12, 2012/Finance

Sources: Oracle Founder Larry Ellison Shows Preliminary Interest In AEG Bid

Ellison's interest likely tied to relocating NFL franchise to L.A.
Oracle Founder & CEO Larry Ellison "is interested in a potential bid" for AEG, according to sources cited by Grover & Damouni of REUTERS. Sources said that Ellison's interest in AEG, whose owner Phil Anschutz wants initial bids in the $10B range, "is preliminary." One of the main attractions for Ellison would be that AEG would "allow him to buy and relocate" an NFL team to L.A. The auction for AEG just started, with "investment bankers at Blackstone Advisory Partners sending initial information to bidders earlier this week." A source said that "Ellison was expected to receive the information memorandum this week." The list of potential AEG buyers includes "investment firm Guggenheim Partners LLC and private equity firms such as Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, Bain Capital LLC and Colony Capital LLC." Lakers investor Patrick Soon-Shiong said that he would bid on AEG "to use its sports and concert assets to promote a healthy lifestyle to L.A. citizens" (REUTERS, 10/11).

NO TRUST: In L.A., Jon Regardie reported L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Thursday "expressed skepticism" that the NFL "stands ready to make a deal" with AEG. Ridley-Thomas said, "I don't know that you can trust the NFL in terms of negotiating. You think it's Farmers Field, but they're out there right now negotiating, optioning the project somewhere else. That's what they do. Why? Because they always want to stir it up. And they'll never tell you" (LADOWNTOWNNEWS.com, 10/11).
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