Todd Boehly’s conglomerate has signed an agreement to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
The proposed deal must be approved by the UK government and the English Premier League before it can be finalized.
The group led by part-owner LA Dodgers – which includes backing from Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm – beat out late competition from £4.25 billion bid Sir Jim Ratcliffe and other consortiums led by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton to win the battle to become the new owners of the Premier League club.
Chelsea have until May 31 to find a new contractor as the UK government’s license to operate expires on that date. With the Raine Group – hired by Abramovich to oversee the sale of the club – having selected its preferred contractor, the government could issue a separate license allowing the Premier League club to be sold.
The Premier League will meet on June 8 to form the new season, at which point Chelsea will need to obtain a license to participate in the next campaign.
Sky Sports News Report in April that Boehly’s consortium has been selected as the preferred group to buy Chelsea, despite Britain’s richest man Ratcliffe bid £4.25billion for the west London club – although that offer was denied.
What is a Boehly bid and who is part of it?
- Mr. Boehly’s bid will see voting rights split equally between him and Clearlake Capital, a California private equity firm.
- Clearlake, which does not have direct ownership of major sports properties, will own a majority stake in Chelsea.
- The group is being consulted by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where former prime minister – and Chelsea fan – George Osborne, now works as a partner.
The Pagliuca Group was informed late last month that it was no longer able to be the Raine Group’s preferred contractor. However, the Broughton group – led by former Liverpool and British Airways chairman Sir Martin, and including Crystal Palace’s billionaire shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris – is still in the race.
Lewis Hamilton is one of the investors backing Broughton’s bid to buy Chelsea and is said to have committed £10m for the bid. Tennis legend Serena Williams is also one of the supporters of the Broughton Group.
A group of do The Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, and billionaire Ken Griffin of hedge fund Citadel, with US investment bank Lazard were in the final four but withdrew the offer in March. The plans failed because the members of the consortium could not agree on completing the final agreement.
Chelsea are expected to have a new owner by the end of this month – almost three months after Russian owner Abramovich, who has led Stamford Bridge for 19 years, first put the club up for sale on March 2.
The 55-year-old was sanctioned by the UK government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven a link between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Vladimir Putin.
This week, Chelsea owner Abramovich denied he wanted to repay a £1.5 billion loan to the Blues and pledged to give the proceeds from the sale of the club to charity.
The Russian owner has said he will not ask to repay his loans to Chelsea and that the proceeds from the sale of the club will go to a charity for “all the victims of the war”. in Ukraine”.
Following reports that the tycoon was seeking to reclaim money he lent to the club, the 55-year-old reiterated his commitment to handing out money from the sale to organisations. charity.
In a statement released by Abramovich and Chelsea on Thursday night, a spokesman for the Russian newspaper said: “Firstly, Mr Abramovich’s intentions were related to the donation of the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea to the organization. Charity remains unchanged.
“Since the initial announcement, Mr. Abramovich’s team has identified high-level representatives from United Nations agencies and major global charities who have been tasked with establishing the Foundation. and plan the activities of the organization, structure and initial plans.
“Mr Abramovich was not involved in this work and it is managed independently by professionals with many years of experience working in humanitarian organisations.
“Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked to repay any loans to him – such offers are completely false – nor are the suggestions that Mr Abramovich raised the club’s price last minute. Part of Mr. Abramovich’s goal is to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, however, he has encouraged each contractor throughout the process to commit to investing in the Club – including in the Academy. hospital, the women’s team, the necessary stadium redevelopment as well as maintaining the work of the Chelsea Foundation.”
The British government will not allow the sale to be made unless it is absolutely certain that Abramovich will not receive any proceeds.
The spokesman added in the statement: “Following the sanctions and other restrictions imposed by the UK on Mr Abramovich since the announcement that the Club would be sold, the loan also became a subject to EU sanctions, additional approval is required.
“It means that the funds will be frozen and subject to legal proceedings administered by the competent authorities. These funds will remain for the Fund. The government is aware of these limitations as well as legal effects.
“To be clear, Mr. Abramovich has no access or control over these funds and will not have any access or control over these funds following the sale. Regardless of the situation that has changed since his initial announcement – he remains committed to finding a good guardian for Chelsea FC and ensuring that the proceeds go to good cause.”