The consortium led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly is in exclusive negotiations to buy Premier League club Chelsea for $3 billion, a source familiar with the matter has revealed.
- Todd Boehly’s consortium has been chosen as the preferred bidder for Chelsea, despite a last-minute offer by Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe
- Boehly’s group consists of fellow LA Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, a Swiss billionaire, a British property developer and a US investment firm
- Chelsea will need to present their preferred bid to both the UK government and the Premier League for the final “fit-and-proper” tests and approval
Earlier on Friday, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced that he had made a last-minute “formal bid” to buy the club for 4.25 billion pounds ($5.33 billion).
Chelsea was put up for sale by former owner Roman Abramovich after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and before sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government.
A spokesperson for Ratcliffe declined to comment on the details of the bid nor to respond to news of Boehly entering exclusive talks.
Boehly’s consortium includes fellow Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, and British property investor Jonathan Goldstein.
Another group, led by American investor Steve Pagliuca, said it had been told by New York bank Raine — who have been handling the sale of the club — that they were not the “preferred bidder”, so were out of contention. Raine was not immediately reachable for comment.
Pagliuca had teamed up with NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum, who is owner of the Canadian company Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, which owns a number of professional sports franchises in Toronto.
British billionaire Ratcliffe — the chairman of chemical company INEOS — owns French club OGC Nice and the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team, and is Britain’s richest man.
Ratcliffe said he had made a “formal bid” to buy Chelsea for 4.25 billion pounds ($5.33 billion), however his bid was made a fortnight after the final deadline.
“This is a British bid, for a British club,” INEOS said in a statement.
“We believe that London should have a club that reflects the stature of the city, one that is held in the same regard as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. We intend Chelsea to be that club.”
INEOS said that 2.5 billion pounds would be committed to the Charitable Trust to support victims of the war, while 1.75 billion was for “investment directly into the club over the next 10 years”.
Another of the bidding consortiums was led by former British Airways chairman Martin Broughton, whose bid is backed by Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton and tennis star Serena Williams.
The Broughton bid did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chelsea will need to present their preferred bid to the UK government and to apply for a licence to complete the take-over.
The purchase will also need to pass the Premier League’s fit-and-proper-persons test, which has come under scrutiny in recent months following the Abramovich saga.