It’s not every day that ownership stake in a franchise as valuable as the Los Angeles Lakers becomes available, but that was the case this offseason.
Last week, it was reported that founder of AEG and minority Lakers owner Philip Anschutz was selling his 27% stake to Los Angeles Dodgers owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly. Walter is also the CEO of Guggenheim Partners and Boehly is the co-founder and chairman of Eldridge Industries.
The deal came as a bit of a surprise considering AEG also owns the Staples Center, although Anschutz’s stake in the Lakers is separate from AEG and reports indicated the deal was at a $5 billion valuation.
While the two sides agreed upon the transaction, it still required approval from the NBA’s board of governors, which they have now gotten, per Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Yahoo Sports:
The NBA board of governors has unanimously approved Todd Boehly and Mark Walter’s investment in the Los Angeles Lakers, a 27% stake previously owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, according to a person familiar with the vote.
Now that the NBA’s owners have voted to approve, the deal is expected to soon be made official:
The transaction will likely close next week, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the matter is private. A representative for the NBA declined to comment.
This is certainly big news for both the Lakers and Dodgers as L.A.’s two most historic franchises are now intertwined once more, this time at the ownership level.
Walter and Boehly give Lakers financial power
While the Buss family has never been afraid to spend money in order to put together a championship roster, their luxury tax bill could get very expensive this summer considering the team is already over the salary cap and could have as many as 10 free agents.
The addition of billionaires like Walker and Boehly could help Lakers ownership be more willing to pay a large luxury tax bill, which is big if they want to retain key free agents such as Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dennis Schroder.
Additionally, Walter and Boehly also bring ownership experience to the table given their success running the Dodgers since they purchased the team in 2012. The Dodgers won their first World Series since 1988 in 2020 and are favorites to do so again in 2021 thanks in large part to them having the highest payroll in baseball by a large margin.
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