End Of Era For Roman Abramovich as Todd Boehly continues

The Raine Group, the American bank in charge of the sale, has identified Boehly’s group as the preferred bidder to take control at Stamford Bridge. He’s collaborated with Mark Walter, a fellow Dodgers owner, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, and investment firm Clearlake Capital.

Boehly beat over consortiums led by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton, as well as a late £4.25 billion bid from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man.

Chelsea’s official website reported that terms for the new ownership group led by Todd Boehly to purchase the Premier League club had been agreed.

‘Chelsea Football Club can confirm that arrangements have been negotiated for a new ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter, and Hansjoerg Wyss to acquire the Club,’ according to the statement.

‘Of the overall investment, £2.5 billion will be used to buy the Club’s shares, with the revenues going into a frozen UK bank account with the goal of donating 100% to philanthropic causes,’ according to Roman Abramovich. The proceeds will need to be transferred from the blocked UK bank account with the permission of the UK government.

‘In addition, the prospective new owners will invest an additional £1.75 billion in the Club’s benefit.’ This includes money for the Chelsea Foundation as well as investments at Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team, and Kingsmeadow.

‘Subject to all relevant regulatory approvals, the sale is scheduled to close in late May.’ At that time, more information will be supplied.’

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March, the government sanctioned previous owner Roman Abramovich, causing months of uncertainty over Chelsea’s future.

The takeover crisis is now finished, with Abramovich completing the sale to Boehly after receiving government approval.

Fears grew last week that Abramovich, who was selling his shares after being sanctioned for his ties to Vladimir Putin, may back out of a vow to write off a £1.6 billion loan, putting the Blues’ future in peril.

Any potential purchase would have been thrown into disarray if this had happened, because UK ministers who approved the sale wanted none of the proceeds to go to Russia.

Instead, they wanted the money to go toward helping Ukraine rebuild after Russian troops invaded the country.

Government officials were surprised to learn that Abramovich was attempting to modify the takeover agreement, which would oblige Chelsea’s parent company, Fordstam, to pay off the debt held in trust at Jersey-based company Camberley International Investments.

The government is now confident that none of the £1.6 billion will end up in the hands of Abramovich or his family.

Following Abramovich’s sanctions, the Premier League club was forced to operate under a special government-issued license.

Chelsea faced expulsion from England’s top flight and European tournaments if they were not fully licensed by the Premier League’s AGM on June 8.

In such event, the team would not have been entitled to return to the Premier League, nor would the FA have put them forward as Champions League or Europa League representatives.

Last Friday, Ratcliffe, the owner of the petrochemicals giant Ineos, made a last-minute £4 billion plus offer to buy Chelsea.

However, the Chelsea season-ticket holder, as well as the consortium led by Sir Martin Broughton, the former Liverpool chairman, and the group led by Pagliuca, who co-owns the Boston Celtics, and Larry Tanenbaum, a supporter of the Toronto Maple Leafs, have been left out.

Sports stars Lewis Hamilton (who is an Arsenal supporter) and Serena Williams invested in Broughton’s bid, which was prepared by the ex-chairman of Liverpool and British Airways.

The owners of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, contributed the majority of the cash for their bid, as they would have had to sell their shares in Crystal Palace if they had bought another club.

If their joint offer to buy Chelsea was successful, Pagliuca, the owner of the NBA team Boston Celtics, teamed up with Tanenbaum and vowed to ‘lifetime ownership’ of the club.

The Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs baseball team, pulled out of the contest early on.

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