Billionaire Boehly’s Group Gets Chelsea FC From Abramovich—With U.K. Government Approval

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Anna Kaplan   Forbes U.S. Staff

Billionaire Boehly’s Group Gets Chelsea FC From Abramovich—With U.K. Government Approval

Topline

The Premier League announced Tuesday it approved billionaire Todd Boehly’s bid to purchase Chelsea FC from longtime owner Roman Abramovich, a sale that has now been backed by the U.K. government.

Key Facts

The Premier League board said in a statement it approved the takeover after all prospective board members passed its owners and directors test.

The members of the consortium include Boehly, billionaire Swiss businessman Hansjorg Wyss, billionaire Mark Walter, who co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers with Boehly, and Clearlake Capital Group.

The British government approved the takeover Tuesday night, culture secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed Wednesday morning.

Crucial Quote

“Last night the Government issued a licence that permits the sale of @ChelseaFC,” Dorries tweeted. “We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals.”

Big Number

$5.2 billion. That’s how much Boehly’s consortium will pay for Chelsea FC—a record price for a professional sports team—according to multiple reports. The previous record for a team was in 2019 when Joe Tsai paid about $3.3 billionfor the Brooklyn Nets and operating rights to the Barclays Center.

Key Background

Abramovich, a Russian billionaire with a net worth Forbes still estimates at about $9.1 billion, purchased Chelsea for about $190 million in 2003. Abramovich announced he would be selling the team in early March amid pressure from British politicians over his reported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia invaded Ukraine. The U.K. sanctionedAbramovich days later, upending his plans to sell the team and donate the proceeds to the victims of the war in Ukraine. A large pool of billionairesset out to purchase the team, including Britain’s richest man Sir James Ratcliffe and the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs.

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Anna Kaplan   Forbes U.S. Staff

I am a breaking news reporter at Forbes. I’ve previously covered breaking news for The Daily Beast and graduated from Seattle University.