Todd Boehly completes a £4.25 billion takeover of Chelsea.


Todd Boehly completes a £4.25 billion takeover of Chelsea.
Chelsea has been taken over by a partnership led by Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a deal valued up to £4.25 billion.

The agreement was finally announced on Saturday, ending Roman Abramovich's 19-year reign as Chelsea's owner and releasing Chelsea from penalties imposed on him for alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Chelsea has been awarded a new licence to compete in the 2022-23 season, ending three months of uncertainty during which the team was considered to be doomed.

"Chelsea Football Team can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the Club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium," the club said in a statement. On Monday, the transaction is anticipated to be completed. At that time, the Club will provide additional information."

Raine Group, a New York-based merchant bank, was recruited to oversee the sale after performing financial services for Chelsea in recent years and chose the Boehly-led consortium as the club's preferred bidder.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a British billionaire, tried to take advantage of difficulties over the sale's exact conditions by submitting his own £4.25 billion proposal at the eleventh hour.

However, Abramovich appears to have conceded defeat in his bid to get the £2.5 billion asking price — plus a further £1.75 billion investment pledge from the Boehly camp — paid into a business that the UK government suspected had ties to members of his family.

To ensure that the agreement was approved by the UK government and the European Commission – Abramovich holds a Portuguese passport and is also sanctioned by the EU — the selling money will be paid into a holding account, with the revenues going to victims of Ukraine's war.

The acquisition is the most expensive in sports history, and it includes a 10-year pledge not to sell a majority position in Chelsea.

All sides had until May 31 to negotiate a final deal because Chelsea's special operating licence expired on that day, and insiders say those concerned have been working around the clock to preserve the club's survival.

Despite the fact that the process has been unpleasant and unsettling at times, Chelsea sources have stated that a typical Premier League takeover takes between nine and twelve months, and the Blues have changed owners in just over three months.

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine gained momentum, Abramovich sought to distance himself from the club by announcing the night before the Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool that he was passing "stewardship and care" of the club to the Chelsea Trustees, a charitable entity made up of senior figures from the club's past and present.

When it became clear that the Chelsea Trustees were completely unqualified to run one of the most important clubs in the world, and that they would not be protected from any government action against Abramovich as a result of this measure, he made a second announcement 72 hours later, confirming his intention to sell.

Around 200 parties expressed interest, with reports claiming Raine Consortium received more than 20 viable bids, which were subsequently reduced down to the Boehly-led group.

According to ESPN, a crucial aspect was Boehly's camp's head start from his previous interest in owning a Premier League franchise, which dates back to 2019.

Boehly, who has a 20% share in the Dodgers, looked into purchasing Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur at the time but was turned down.

This time, he has been successful with a consortium in which he is the face but for which the majority of the funding comes from Clearlake Capital, a private equity firm founded by Behdad Eghbali and Jose E. Feliciano and based in Santa Monica, California. Clearlake will be the majority shareholder, but other notable figures involved include Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss; Mark Walter, the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, who also owns a stake in the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Lakers; Jonathan Goldstein, a London-based property developer; and Danny Finkelstein, a former adviser to ex-UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Chelsea's inability to acquire or offload players or renegotiate contracts with existing team members while operating under a special licence contributed to Antonio Rudiger's and Andreas Christensen's impending transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

According to ESPN, Chelsea's new owners are anticipated to provide significant funding to coach Thomas Tuchel in order to upgrade the squad, while contract negotiations with players such as N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mason Mount will now resume. Additional limitations that stopped the club's megastore and stadium hotel from launching will be eased as well.


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