Chelsea takeover: Todd Boehly consortium signs agreement to take over from Roman Abramovich

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Roman Abramovich announced Chelsea was up for sale on March 2; LA Dodgers part-owner beat competition from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who bid £4.25bn, and two other consortiums to win the battle for Chelsea; UK government needs to issue new licence so takeover can go through.


Todd Boehly’s consortium has signed an agreement to purchase Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.

The proposed deal has to be approved by the UK government and the Premier League before it can be completed.

The group headed by the LA Dodgers part-owner - which includes backing from Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm - beat off late competition from £4.25billion bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and other consortiums led by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton to win the battle to become the Premier League club’s new owners.

Chelsea had until May 31 to find a new bidder as the UK government’s licence for the club to operate ran out on that date. With the Raine Group - hired by Abramovich to oversee the sale of the club - having chosen its preferred bidder, the government can issue a separate licence to allow the Premier League club to be sold.

The Premier League is meeting on June 8 to constitute the new season, by which time Chelsea would need to have a licence to be part of the next campaign.

Sky Sports News reported in April that Boehly’s consortium was chosen as the preferred group to buy Chelsea, despite a late £4.25bn bid from Britain’s richest man Ratcliffe for the west London club - though that offer was rejected out of hand.

What is the Boehly bid and who is part of it?
[li]Mr Boehly’s bid would see voting rights shared equally between him and Clearlake Capital, a Californian private equity firm.[/li][li]Clearlake, which has no direct ownership pedigree in major sports assets, would own a majority of the shares in Chelsea.[/li][li]The group is being advised by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where the former chancellor - and Chelsea fan - George Osborne, now works as a partner.[/li][/ul]
The Pagliuca consortium was told at the end of last month that it was out of the running to become the Raine Group’s preferred bidder. However, the Broughton consortium - led by former Liverpool and British Airways chairman Sir Martin, and including the billionaire Crystal Palace shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris - was still in the race.

Lewis Hamilton was one of the investors backing Broughton’s attempt to acquire Chelsea and is understood to have committed £10m to the bid. Tennis legend Serena Williams was also among the backers of the Broughton consortium.

A group led by the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, and the Citadel hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, with the US investment bank Lazard was in the final four but withdrew its offer in March. The plans fell apart due to members of the consortium being unable to agree on the final make-up of the deal.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe put in a late £4.25bn bid for Chelsea

It is expected that Chelsea will have new owners by the end of this month - nearly three months after Russian owner Abramovich, who has been at the Stamford Bridge helm for 19 years, first put the club up for sale on March 2.

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