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Oracle CEO interested in buying NBA's Warriors

Wed, 01/27/2010 - 6:01pm
The Associated Press

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (AP) — Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison said Wednesday he is interested in buying the Golden State Warriors.

No surprise there.

Ellison told financial analysts he's trying to buy the team but, he said, "unfortunately you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team."

The line got laughs because the business software maker is a serial acquirer and won a hostile takeover fight in 2005 for rival PeopleSoft.

"I've been hearing this for years," team president Robert Rowell said. "At some point in time, the media speculation will become a reality. But right now, there's not much to this."

Ellison was responding to a question from a member of the audience during a conference to discuss Oracle's plans for its latest acquisition, struggling computer server maker Sun Microsystems.

When told of Ellison's remarks Wednesday, team ambassador and former star Al Attles said with a smile: "Oh, really? Very interesting."

Earlier this month, Ellison sat courtside to watch the Warriors play LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the building boasting his company's name. Ellison has expressed interest in buying an NBA franchise and there's talk he could be the owner-in-waiting if current top man Chris Cohan eventually decides to sell.

While Cohan has given no indication he plans to put the franchise up for sale any time soon, there's thinking that he would certainly listen if an incredible offer was made down the road.

At the Cavs-Warriors game, one fan in the upper area of the lower level held a sign reading, "Dear Larry Ellison, please buy this team. Thanks, the Warriors fans."

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