Chelsea Football Club has confirmed that terms have been agreed with a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and backed by Clearlake Capital over the acquisition of the English Premier League team.
The Stamford Bridge-based outfit announced the 4.25 billion pounds ($5.2bn) deal for the reigning European champions in a statement issued in the early hours of Saturday, subject to receiving the required approvals.
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the club,” the statement said.
“The sale is expected to complete in late May subject to all necessary regulatory approvals. More details will be provided at that time.”
Chelsea said the new owners would pay 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1bn) to buy shares while committing a further 1.75 billion pounds ($2.2bn) to invest in the stadium, women’s team, the academy and the Chelsea Foundation.
The statement confirmed all proceeds would be placed in a frozen UK bank account and Russian owner Roman Abramovich, who is currently subject to sanctions by the British government, would donate all of the proceeds to charitable causes.
The announcement comes with just more than three weeks remaining on the club’s current operating licence, which expires on May 31.
He cleared the path for the takeover on Thursday after dismissing reports he wanted a loan given to the club, reportedly worth 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9bn), to be repaid.
Boehly is part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB franchise and he also has minority stakes in the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
The Boehly group, which also includes Swiss billionaire Wyss, were in exclusive negotiations to buy the club after a late bid from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe was rejected.
Groups led by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and former British Airways chairman Martin Broughton were earlier eliminated from the bidding process while a consortium led by Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family pulled out of the running.
The sale of the European champions brings the curtain down on 19 successful years under the 55-year-old Abramovich, who has overseen five Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs.
After initially embarking on a long winning run following Abramovich’s decision to sell the club, Chelsea have struggled to find their best form recently.
They suffered a painful Champions League quarter-final defeat at Real Madrid after nearly pulling off an epic comeback from a 3-1 first-leg deficit.
Chelsea’s place in the Premier League’s top four is also far from guaranteed.
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