Saturday May 7, 2022
Chelsea have agreed terms on the £4.25bn ($5.2bn) sale of
the club to a consortium led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers
The club was put up for sale before owner Roman Abramovich
was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin
following the invasion of Ukraine.
A Chelsea statement said the new owners will pay £2.5bn for
the club's shares.
The proceeds will go into a frozen bank account to be
donated to charity.
The consortium is led by Boehly but Clearlake Capital, a
Californian private equity firm, would own a majority of the shares in Chelsea.
Other investors include US billionaire Mark Walter, also a co-owner of the LA
Dodgers, and Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss.
The consortium said it will provide £1.75bn to invest in the
Premier League club, including "investments in Stamford Bridge, the
academy, the women's team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea
In the statement, Chelsea said the sale was expected to
complete in late May. The takeover will require approval from the English
football authorities and the UK government.
Chelsea are operating under a special licence from the UK
government which ends on 31 May, but last month, Culture Secretary Nadine
Dorries said the club were on "borrowed time" to complete the sale.
Any sale can only be signed off by the bidder passing the
Premier League's owners' and directors' test.
Boehly, an American investor and businessman, has a reported
net worth of $4.5bn (£3.6bn), according to Forbes.
He is a part owner of the Dodgers - a US baseball franchise
- and US women's basketball outfit the Los Angeles Sparks, and owns a stake in
the renowned LA Lakers NBA franchise.
His consortium also includes American PR executive Barbara
Charone, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein and British journalist Daniel
Other consortiums who had been in the running to buy Chelsea
have been headed by Sir Martin Broughton and the co-owner of the Boston
Celtics, Stephen Pagliuca, but they were told in late April that their bids
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe - majority shareholder
of chemical group Ineos - made a late offer, but it arrived on 29 April,
several weeks beyond the initial deadline for bids of 18 March.
Ratcliffe's bid was dismissed but he said on 4 May that he
was "not giving up".
On Thursday, Abramovich said he has not asked for his £1.5bn
loan to Chelsea to be repaid when the club is sold.
A spokesperson said Abramovich "remains committed"
to making sure the proceeds from the sale "go to good causes".