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BNP Paribas Open Announces Larry Ellison As New Owner

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Indian Wells Stadium© Getty ImagesThe Indian Wells Tennis Garden is home to the BNP Paribas Open.

Co-Founder And CEO Of Oracle Corporation Purchases Tournament and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden

The BNP Paribas Open, the most attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the four major events, to be held March 8-21, 2010, and its home, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, have been purchased by Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, it was announced today by Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore of PM Sports Management.

Ellison, who formed Tennis Ventures, LLC, purchased 100% of the assets from the previous ownership group, which featured Pasarell and Moore, George Mackin and Bob Miller of Tennis magazine/tennis.com, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and tennis legends Pete Sampras, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.

“I am very excited to become the new owner of the prestigious BNP Paribas Open,” said Ellison. “Anyone who knows me knows that I love the game of tennis. I play it regularly, watch it frequently, and now look forward to being in Indian Wells every March to host the greatest players in the world. This tournament has an incredibly solid foundation, including one of the best venues and management teams, and I intend to build on that and continue the vision of being one of the greatest international sporting events worldwide.”

ATP Executive Chairman and President Adam Helfant said: “We are delighted that Larry Ellison has purchased the Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament, and we very much look forward to working with him and his team at this highly successful event in the future. It is a great boost for tennis in the United States that a person with such an impressive business record would see fit to invest in the game, and we welcome him to the ATP World Tour. The Indian Wells tournament holds the record for attendance at an ATP tournament, and this confirms its status as a mainstay of the tennis calendar in the United States and its position among the elite Masters 1000 tournaments around the world. We wish Mr. Ellison and his team every success in the future.”

The tournament originally came to the Coachella Valley in 1976, and in 1981 Charlie Pasarell became Tournament Director. He and Moore formed PM Sports Management in 1985 and have since been owners and managing partners. They will continue to manage the event and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for Tennis Ventures, LLC. Steve Simon will continue as Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and former owner George Mackin will be Director of Sponsorship Marketing.

“As we embark on the 35th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Open and the tenth anniversary of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Raymond, the previous owners and I are thrilled to have Larry Ellison as the new owner,” said Pasarell. “He is as passionate as we are and desires to continue with the vision and the goals we have established.”

For more information about the BNP Paribas Open, or to purchase tickets and travel packages, visit www.bnpparibasopen.org, call 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000, or visit the box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA, 92210.

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