Chelsea takeover moves closer to completion with Todd Boehly selected despite last-gasp bid
After a drawn-out process, the consortium fronted by U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly has been selected as the preferred bidder for Chelsea
The consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly has been selected as the preferred bidder for Chelsea and has reportedly secured a period of exclusivity as it attempts to complete its multi-billion pound takeover from Roman Abramovich.
It’s been another dramatic day in the process of taking the club off the hands of Abramovich, who remains under sanctions by the UK government and EU as part of their respective responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. What appeared to be the final three bidders were awaiting a decision from Raine when the news broke that INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe had submitted a late bid worth £4.25bn for the club.
“We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game – not as a means to turn a profit,” a statement released by INEOS, which also owns Ligue 1 side Nice, read. “We do that with our core business. The club is rooted in its community and its fans. And it is our intention to invest in Chelsea FC for that reason.”
That offer is believed to have been submitted too late, however, with the Boehly consortium understood to have been told that they will be taken forward as the preferred bidder ahead of equally-strong groups fronted by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton.
There has as yet been no official confirmation from Boehly group, Chelsea or Raine as yet, however.
According to Sky News, the Boehly consortium, which also consists of billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, property developer Jonathan Goldstein, and investment firm Clearlake Capital, will soon begin a period of exclusivity to get a deal over the line. That is expected to last several days.
Since Abramovich was sanctioned, Chelsea have been operating under a special licence from the U.K. government, which comes to an end on May 31 – and yesterday, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries stated that the club, the reigning world champions, was on “borrowed time” to complete the sale.
The Boehly group’s total bid was in excess of £4 billion, report The Athletic. And that includes £1.5 billion to develop the club and Stamford Bridge in addition to meeting Raine’s valuation of the Premier League side, which was set at around £2.5 billion.