Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert’s empire is much more than just the massive lender.
Gilbert is also the owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and is the founder and chairman of Rock Ventures, which includes more than 110 companies as well as Gilbert’s portfolio of business and real estate investments.
Gilbert has also invested billions of dollars in the revitalization of Detroit through numerous purchases of buildings in downtown Detroit, and now Gilbert may be looking at another significant purchase and rehabilitation – Yahoo.
Recently, Yahoo made it known that it is interested in selling off its “core business” as the company struggles with declining revenue, according an article from the New York Times.
According to a separate report from Reuters, which was subsequently confirmed by CNBC, Quicken’s Gilbert is among the interested bidders, and he has a huge name ready and willing to serve as his potential financial backing – Warren Buffett.
Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, spoke to CNBC on Monday and confirmed Reuters’ report that Gilbert is looking to buy Yahoo, and said that Berkshire Hathaway is prepared to fund Gilbert’s purchase.
Berkshire Hathaway has offered to be a potential finance partner for fellow billionaire Dan Gilbert's bid to buy Yahoo, Berkshire Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett confirmed to CNBC.
"I'm an enormous admirer of Dan and what he has accomplished in Quicken Loans. Yahoo is not the type of thing I'd ever be an equity partner in. I don't know the business and wouldn't know how to evaluate it, but if Dan needed financing, with proper terms and protections, we would be a possible financing help," Buffett told CNBC.
Reuters first reported last week that Gilbert is part of a “consortium” that’s planning a Yahoo bid, although it’s not known if Quicken Loans would be involved in any way.
It is not clear whether Gilbert, a billionaire who also owns the U.S. basketball team Cleveland Cavaliers, is using Quicken Loans in any way as part of the consortium's bid.
The sources asked not to be identified because the details of the sale process are confidential. Buffett offered no immediate comment when reached by telephone. Quicken Loans declined to comment on behalf of Gilbert, while Yahoo declined to comment.
As CNBC points out, this wouldn’t be the first time that Gilbert, Buffett, and Yahoo have gotten together on a well-publicized, big money deal.
Two years ago, Quicken Loans created a national pandemonium, when it partnered with Yahoo and Berkshire Hathaway to launch the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, which offered the chance to win $1 billion by predicting the outcome of every single game of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament.
As it turns out, no one won the billion and the challenge was abandoned for 2015 due to legal squabbles over who came up with the idea.
While it’s still too early in the bidding process to know if Gilbert and Buffett will be successful in their bid for Yahoo, one thing is for sure: As with the bracket challenge, there will be lawyers.