The $5.4 billion sale of Chelsea F.C. from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich to a consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly has been completed, the club announced Monday, ending months of uncertainty after Abramovich said he would sell the team after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It’s the highest-priced sports team acquisition in history, beating out the $3.3 billion paid by Chinese billionaire Joseph Tsai in 2019 for the Brooklyn Nets and operating rights to the Barclays Center.
Abramovich–who was sanctioned by the U.K. over his ties to the Kremlin–will not profit from the sale, with the proceeds to be donated to humanitarian causes in Ukraine, the British government said.
Boehly joined up with Clearlake Capital Group, Swiss Billionaire Hansjörg Wyss and American billionaire Mark Walter–who co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Sparks with Boehly–and others to make the winning bid.
Boehly and Clearlake will share joint control of Chelsea F.C., according to the club.
Abramovich lost control of Chelsea after the U.K. government froze his assets amid a campaign to punish Russia and oligarchs linked to the Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine. Chelsea F.C. may be the most high-profile asset sanctioned by a government over the war in Ukraine. Until Monday, the team had been operating under a special government license that was due to expire Tuesday, and the sale was previously approved by the English Premier League and the U.K. government. Boehly, who has a fortune estimated at $4.5 billion by Forbes via wide-ranging investments including Bruce Springsteen’s song rights and sports-betting firm DraftKings, beat out bids from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and Stephen Pagliuca, Bain Capital co-chair and part-owner of the Boston Celtics.
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