sport

LA Clippers takeover complete

Steve Ballmer has officially completed his purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers from the Sterling Family, a process which began in the wake of Donald Sterling's life ban for making racist remarks.

Ballmer, a billionaire businessman who made his fortune with Microsoft, has paid a reported two billion US dollar (1.19billion) fee for the team.

"The transaction in which Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers closed today following the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the team," an NBA statement said.

"The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor."

In late July, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas ruled that Sterling's wife Shelly had the authority to sell the NBA franchise to the former Microsoft CEO.

Donald Sterling had attempted to block the sale, claiming that any transaction would need his approval.

But Judge Levanas put paid to his attempts to prevent the sale to Ballmer going ahead when he sided with his estranged wife.

Donald Sterling was given a life ban by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, as well as a $2.5million (1.49m) fine, after a tape emerged of him making derogatory remarks about African-Americans in April.

The sale obliterates the previous high for an NBA franchise - the 550million US dollar (328m) sale of the Milwaukee Bucks in April.

It is only slightly less than the biggest ever sale involving an American sports team - the 2012 2.1billion US dollars (1.25billion) sale of baseball team the Los Angeles Dodgers.