Last year, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Phil Anschutz’s 27% minority stake in the franchise had been sold to a group led by Los Angeles Dodgers owners Todd Boehly and Mark Walter. Now it looks as if Boehly and co. are potentially entering into another sports world.
Chelsea F.C. is one of the biggest and most popular soccer clubs in the world. Current owner Roman Abramovich took over the team in 2003 and the club has enjoyed its best success including two UEFA Champions League titles with the latest coming last year.
But amidst sanctions leveled on Russian oligarchs following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich put the club up for sale. And now according to Cara Lombardo of the Wall Street Journal, a group led by Boehly will enter exclusive talks to acquire Chelsea F.C:
A group led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is set to enter exclusive talks in the bidding war to acquire Chelsea Football Club from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, according to people familiar with the matter.
The remaining bidders were notified of the outcome Friday, the people said.
Any deal is still subject to signoff from the U.K. government and there are no guarantees the two sides will reach a deal. It comes after a roughly two-month auction process that attracted a who’s who of American bidders, aiming to add another marquee sports brand to their stable of franchises at home.
As was noted, this does not guarantee a deal will be reached, but it does push Boehly in the forefront with an opportunity to add another legendary franchise to his portfolio. Furthermore, the sale is expected to set a new record price for a pro sports team:
The sale is expected to be valued at over $3 billion, setting a record sale price for a professional sports team. It would bring to an end the oligarch’s almost 20-year ownership of the English Premier League soccer club after the U.K. imposed sanctions against Mr. Abramovich because of his ties to the Kremlin.
Chelsea is one of the true powerhouses in European soccer, ranking as the fourth most successful club in English football in terms of trophies won. If this group led by Boehly can add Chelsea along with the Lakers and Dodgers, they will have a stable of some of the most powerful franchises internationally that sports can offer.
Lakers minority ownership transfer to Todd Boehly, Mark Walter becomes official
The group led by Boehly and Walter joined the Lakers family less than a year ago and Boehly actually joined the Lakers’ Board of Directors as part of the deal. Following the announcement of the transfer, Boehly expressed excitement at joining the Lakers family.
“The Los Angeles Lakers have built and sustained a championship culture that has inspired fans around the world,” said Boehly. “Mark and I know first-hand the commitment and energy required to achieve such success both throughout the organization, and vitally, from the fans across the great City of Los Angeles. I am thrilled to join the Lakers ownership group, supporting Jeanie and the organization’s vision, as the franchise builds on its storied history and commitment to community.”
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