Home Business Boehly-Led Group said it had reached a deal to buy FC Chelsea.

Boehly-Led Group said it had reached a deal to buy FC Chelsea.

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A group led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boli has reached a deal to buy Chelsea from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for nearly 4.3 billion pounds, equivalent to $ 5.2 billion, the team said at a record price on Friday night. sales for a professional. sports team.

Completion of the deal is expected later this month, provided the deal receives regulatory approval, Chelsea said in a statement. This follows about a two-month auction process that attracted whoever is one of the American contenders looking to purchase a tent sports brand.

Earlier on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a deal had been reached. Boehly Group, which includes, among others, the American investment company Clearlake Capital, defeated two other groups led by the United States for the right to negotiate a final deal.

The sale of Chelsea is a high-profile example of the financial restructuring of Russian wealth caused war in Ukraine.

Mr Abramovich has owned Chelsea for almost 20 years, generously spending more than $ 1 billion on players and absorbing the team’s total losses to turn the English Premier League club into a stable player who often fights for titles. He won last year’s Champions League, the main tournament among European clubs.

But in March, a Russian oligarch under pressure from sanctions imposed by Britain over ties to the Kremlin set up a team put up for sale. UK government officials have closely monitored the process to make sure the proceeds from the sale do not benefit Mr Abramovich.

Of the total investment, £ 2.5 billion will go to buy Chelsea shares and the money will be donated to charity. The remaining £ 1.75 billion is earmarked for investment in the club, including its stadium and women’s team.

Todd Boli manages the holding company Eldridge Industries.


Photo:

Patrick T. Fallon / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

At more than £ 4 billion the price will exceed the price tag Acquisition of $ 2.4 billion in 2020 The New York Mets Premier League baseball from hedge fund manager billionaire Stephen A. Cohen as the highest paid for the professional sports team, according to Dealogic’s publicly announced transactions.

However, “Chelsea” may not hold the title for long sale Denver Broncos National Football League expected to bring even more.

Mr. Bolly, former president of financial firm Guggenheim Partners LLC, which now manages Eldridge Industries, made an offer to buy Chelsea in 2019, but was turned down after the price did not reach the $ 3 billion sought by Mr. Abramovich, writes the Journal.

In 2012, he was part of a property group that bought the Dodgers for a record $ 2.15 billion.

The agreement with Chelsea emphasizes the growing popularity of the Premier League among American audiences. NBCUniversal, owned

Comcast Corp.

, last year agreed to pay nearly $ 2.7 billion for extending the rights to broadcast the Premier League for six years. That’s almost three times the value of the current six-year, $ 1 billion deal with the broadcaster, which is about to expire.

With the Boehly Group deal American investors will control more English Premier League clubs than the UK owners, consolidating their position as the dominant force in the league. Among them are Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group, owner of Liverpool FC; the Glaser family of Florida, a controlling shareholder of Manchester United FC; Arsenal FC, owned by Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke; and Aston Villa FC, which is controlled by Fortress Investment co-founder Wes Eden along with Egyptian billionaire Nasef Saviris.

One rival group in the fight for Chelsea was led by Stephen Pogluka, co-owner of the Boston Celtics and co-chair of private investment firm Bain Capital; the other was headed by co-owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and private equity veterans Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

Write Kara Lombarda on cara.lombardo@wsj.com and Ben Damet on ben.dummett@wsj.com

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Appeared in the print edition of May 7, 2022 as the Pain-led group reached a deal with Chelsea.

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