After a months-long battle of billionaire sports owners, a new owner for Chelsea FC is emerging: The group led by Todd Boehly will reportedly enter exclusive talks to purchase the club.
The final reported price will exceed $4.4 billion, setting a record for a professional sports team sale – one that may be broken later this year by a buyer for the Denver Broncos. Boehly also submitted a bid for the NFL team.
- The bid from the American investor and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks includes private equity firm Clearlake Capital.
- Rival bidders, led by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton and Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca, have been informed they will not be selected.
- Should Boehly’s bid fall through, those two bids would reportedly be next in line.
Boehly, Chelsea, and Raine Group, the bank handling the sale, have not confirmed the news. The U.K. government is working to ensure that former owner Roman Abramovich does not profit from the sale after he was sanctioned for his ties to Vladimir Putin.
A late bid from majority owner of chemicals company Ineos Group — and one of Britain’s richest men — Sir Jim Ratcliffe of up to $5.4 billion presented a wild card, but it is believed the move came too late to impact the process.
Raine Group tagged groups led by Boehly, Broughton, Pagliuca, and the Ricketts family as finalists in March. The Ricketts, who own the Chicago Cubs, dropped out later in the process.