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Chelsea FC: Who is new owner Todd Boehly?

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·4-min read
Chelsea FC Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Watford - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - May 22, 2022   Fans inside the stadium during the match. REUTERS/Tony Obrien EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.
Chelsea FC takeover official as government approves sale. Photo: Tony Obrien/Reuters

Chelsea's £4.25bn takeover by a consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has been approved by the government.

In a statement the government said it had "reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale" of the club.

"We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals," culture secretary Nadine Dorries said.

It came after the Premier League Board approved the proposed takeover on Tuesday.

The west London club was put up for sale in March before owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Read more: Government owes itself £263m in back-taxes

Chelsea have been operating under a special government licence, which expires on May 31.

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly will become Chelsea’s controlling owner once the takeover is complete.

California investment firm Clearlake Capital will assume the majority shareholding and other investors include US billionaire Mark Walter, also a co-owner of the LA Dodgers, and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

The deal involves the new owners paying £2.5bn to acquire Abramovich’s shares and pledges £1.75bn of future investment in the club's stadium, academy, and women's team.

The new owners will also be prohibited from selling any shares in the club for 10 years, as well as agreeing to strict limits on the level of debt that they can take on.

Todd Boehly owns 20% of the LA Dodgers and is also a part-owner of US women's basketball outfit the Los Angeles Sparks. Together with Mark Walter, he also has a 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Watford - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - May 22, 2022   Prospective Chelsea owner Todd Boehly after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.
Todd Boehly has signed the purchase agreement to buy Chelsea in a deal worth up to £4bn. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters

The 48-year-old is the chairman and CEO of Eldridge – a US consultancy and financial services firm “dedicated to growing market opportunities into significant businesses” – which he co-founded in 2015. Boehly is married with three children and lives in Connecticut.

He has investments in entertainment company A24 and Penske Media, which owns publications like Rolling Stone and Variety.

Led by Jose E Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali, Clearlake Capital is a Californian private equity firm. It has more than $72bn (£58bn) of assets under management, and has led or co-led more than 300 investments.

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Mark Walter is the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, a private global financial services firm that has more than $310bn (£250bn) in assets under management.

Oct 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers chairman and controlling owner Mark Walter watches during game five of the 2021 NLCS against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Braves 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Walter is the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services firm. Photo Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

His net worth was $3.9bn in May 2022, according to Forbes. He is personally invested in plant-based food producer Beyond Meat and online car vendor Carvana.

86-year-old Swiss businessman Hansjörg Wyss, worth a reported £4.3bn, made his fortune through the sale of his medical device manufacturer Synthes to Johnson & Johnson in 2012. He holds stakes in biotech companies Novocure and Molecular Partners.

The consortium also includes American PR executive Barbara Charone, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein and Tory peer and Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein.

The consortium received advice from Robey Warshaw, where the former chancellor George Osborne works.

The Boehly consortium beat out three other groups in the final bidding: a group led by Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, another by former British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton (with NBA 76ers co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer), and a third from the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos, also made a last-ditch bid to purchase the club which was rejected since it came after the deadline established by the Raine Group, which managed the transaction on behalf of Abramovich.

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"Following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, the government has worked hard to ensure Chelsea Football Club has been able to continue to play football," the government statement said.

"But we have always been clear that the long-term future of the club could only be secured under a new owner."

"We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war," it added.

Chelsea finished the Premier League season in third place, losing both the EFL Cup and FA Cup finals to Liverpool on penalties, and going out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals.

Watch: Chelsea FC takeover official as government approves sale