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16,000-percent ROI for Clippers

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, June 2, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Talk about a stellar return on investment: Donald and Shelly Sterling, the embattled co-owners of the Los Angeles Clippers, will realize a 15,900-percent return if the sale of the NBA team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer goes through.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

According to the Los Angeles Times, Ballmer's $2-billion offer for the team was the highest bid. Sterling paid $12.5 million for the team in 1981. The Sterlings are being pressured to sell after Donald Sterling made racist remarks in a recorded conversation.

The deal has yet to be approved by the NBA, but if it is, it would be the second-highest price ever paid for a sports team in North America. In 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team sold for $2.1 billion.

Of course, the Clippers' cumulative return ignores any costs that were paid over the years, such as player salaries, stadium fees and other cash outflows.

Biggest ROI honor goes to Buffett

The return on investment for the Clippers is not the largest for an investor in the last three decades, the Los Angeles Times reports. That honor belongs to billionaire Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway.

In May 1981, Berkshire's stock value was $520. At its May 29 close this year it was worth $192,300, delivering an estimated 37,000-percent return to investors who held onto it.

Investors who bought Apple, priced at $22 in its 1980 initial public offering and trading north of $630 today, would be looking at a return on investment in excess of 22,000 percent from its split-adjusted price of $2.75.

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