Larry Ellison, the CEO of software giant Oracle Corp. ranked by Forbes as the third-richest person in the U.S., has inquired about buying the Memphis Grizzlies and wants to move them to San Jose, reports Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Ellison, who is worth $36 billion, has made unsuccessful attempts in past years to buy both the New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors. He has inquired about the Grizzlies before over the past five years, to no avail.
Current majority owner Michael Heisley told the Commercial Appeal he doesn’t expect the team to be sold or relocated, and he emphasized that the Grizzlies have leased the FedEx Forum in Memphis through 2021.
“I can’t downplay it enough,” Heisley said of the Ellison rumor. “If it happens, I’ll be surprised. It’s in the initial stages. We’ve handled this just like we’ve handled several other dozen requests. My situation in Memphis has not changed a lick.
“My preference will always be for somebody in Memphis to buy the team. There’s not any interest in Memphis. But we’ve always made it known that if somebody wants to buy the team, we’ll listen. If they’re real buyers, we’ll probably be sellers. So far, there hasn’t been anyone willing to buy the team under my terms and for my price.”
Heisley’s price is reportedly $350 million.