Chelsea football club has been put up for sale after the government of the United Kingdom took over the club from its owner, Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, putting an end to his 19-year ownership of the club.
American merchant bank, Raine Group has been tasked with orchestrating the sale of the London football club under the scrutiny of the United Kingdom’s government. Series of investors, individuals and companies have expressed their interest to purchase the London football club.
Series of bids have also been rejected with the prominent of all being the Saudi Media Group consortium led by Mohamed Alkhereji, a fan of the club who reportedly lined up a £2.7billion for the football club but were informed by the bank that they have not been included on the list of preferred bidders.
The consortium led by the Ricketts family withdrew its final offer last week as they ‘decided, after careful consideration, not to submit a final bid for Chelsea’. The withdrawal by the Ricketts family leaves the shortlisted bidders to a triumvirate which includes: bids led by Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca.
According to the Mirror, the least complicated group is led by LA Dodgers part-owner, Todd Boehly. Boehly is an American businessman with a net worth of $4.5billion. Boehly personally holds minority stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers and cofounded investment firm, Eldridge Industries in 2015.
Boehly has teamed up with Swiss magnate, Hansjörg Wyss who has a net worth of $5.1billion and British businessman Jonathan Goldstein, for one of the three remaining consortium bids to buy Chelsea.
The American was at Stamford Bridge days ago where the club suffered defeat against fellow London club, Arsenal and was also in attendance at the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.
Sir Martin Broughton
Martin Broughton is a British businessman and deputy chairman of International Airlines Group. The British businessman has teamed up with others with the hope of securing the purchase of the Chelsea football club.
The people he teamed with include British F-1 car racing icon, Sir Lewis Hamilton and tennis champion, Serena Williams. According to Sky Sports, both sports stars are understood to have committed £10million each. ‘A source close to the group said the addition of Hamilton and Williams was a serious investment decision because of their experience at building global sports brands.
American private equity billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer would hold the controlling stake in Broughton’s bid, according to Mirror. However, Harris and Blitzer would need to sell their stakes in Crystal Palace to pass the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.
Stephen Pagliuca is an American private equity investor, co-chairman of Bain Capital, and co-owner of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association and Atalanta of the Italian Serie A football league. He has a net worth of around £3 billion.
Steve Pagliuca will need to reduce his 47% share in Serie A club Atalanta to satisfy conflict of interest issues. The eventually preferred bidder who secures the purchase of the London football club must pass the Premier League’s owners and directors tests before the government would then be required to grant a new licence to allow the sale to go through, according to SportsPro.
What happens next?
The deadline for interested bidders to make their final offers passed last Thursday with Raine Bank now evaluating the merits of each interested bidder. The preferred bid will not necessarily be the most valuable as the bank and Chelsea’s board weigh up a number of other criteria to ensure the club remains capable of challenging at the very top.
It is unclear when a decision will be made but one source close to the process said that a decision could be communicated early next week. Raine will need to apply for an amendment to the government’s special operating licence for a takeover to proceed.