Larry Ellison clearly has a soft spot in his wallet for struggling San Francisco Bay institutions.
On Wednesday, Oracle's chief executive finally confirmed long-standing rumors that he's trying to buy the Golden State Warriors, the Oakland, California-based professional basketball franchise. The question is whether the team's current owner Chris Cohan will sell.
At a public event outlining Oracle's roadmap for its stalled $5.6bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems, one audience member seized the opportunity to plead with Ellison to buy the team.
"I'm trying, I'm trying," said Ellison, before adding: "Unfortunately, you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team."
Although many Warriors fans have speculated that Ellison, the world's fourth-wealthiest man, is interested in owning the franchise, yesterday was the first time he has publicly admitted his intentions.
Oracle already owns naming rights to the home of the Warriors: the Oracle Arena in Oakland — which is only a half-hour drive from the company's headquarters.
The Warriors have performed poorly in recent years under the auspices of Cohan. The team is in last place in the league's Pacific Division with a season record of 13 wins and 31 losses. ®