Former Bucks owner Herb Kohl passed up a larger offer -- $250 million more -- to keep the franchise he owned for 29 years in Milwaukee, according to a report on Friday from Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
The 79-year-old former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin turned down an offer that would have totaled approximately $800 million from Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer and partner Chris Hansen in favor of a $550 million deal in April from hedge fund managers Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. The reasoning: Ballmer and Hansen had planned on moving the Bucks to Seattle if the deal was accepted by Kohl, according to Windhorst.
Edens and Lasry contributed an additional $100 million toward the construction of a new arena, an amount matched by Kohl. As part of the deal, the NBA is able to buy the Bucks from new owners Edens and Lasry if there is not a plan in place to build a new arena by the end of 2017. The clause in that contract was an opportunity that Ballmer and Hansen saw to move the team to Seattle, the former city of the Thunder -- then the SuperSonics.
On Thursday, it was announced that Ballmer made the winning bid of $2 billion to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that current embattled owner Donald Sterling had purchased for $12.5 million in 1981.