Oracle chief Ellison buys Indian Wells event and venue

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Larry Ellison, chief executive of software company Oracle, is the new owner of the Indian Wells tennis tournament and the venue itself.

Ellison's Tennis Ventures LLC purchased the entire assets from the previous ownership group, the businessman said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Anyone who knows me knows 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," he said.

"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."

The previous ownership group was made up of PM Sports Management, George Mackin and Bob Miller of Tennis magazine, the United States Tennis Association and former players Pete Sampras, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.

The Indian Wells tournament prides itself on being the most attended tennis event outside the four majors and will be held from March 8 next year.

Ellison is also heavily involved in the BMW Oracle America's Cup sailing team and has shown interest in investing in an NFL club.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Tony Jimenez)