US billionaire Todd Boehly buys Chelsea FC for over $5bln
After nearly two months of the club's ownership being in limbo, US billionaire Todd Boehly takes it home with an investment of $5.24 billion.
US billionaire Todd Boehly buys Chelsea Football Club from the Russian Roman Abramovich for nearly $5.24 billion, the English club said on Saturday.
"Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club," the club said in an official statement on its website.
Boehly is the co-founder and CEO of Eldridge Industries, a holding company with several offices in the US and the UK. He is currently the interim CEO of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Of the investment, the premier league club said, $3.084 billion will be applied to purchase its shares, and the proceeds will be deposited into a bank account in the United Kingdom for Abramovich to donate to charitable causes.
"The proposed new owners will commit £1.75 billion ($2.15 billion) in further investment for the benefit of the Club," the statement added.
These investments will also contribute to the club's stadium Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women's Team, and the Kingsmeadow stadium, according to the statement.
The conclusion of the sale is expected to take place in late May if London approves the transfer from Abramovich's frozen bank account in the United Kingdom.
There have been previous attempts to buy the club earlier, though they all fell flat. Such attempts include UK businessman Martin Broughton's, whose consortium was joined by F1 star Lewis Hamilton and famous tennis player Serena Williams. Another is one by the Ricketts family, the owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, whose bid was met with hatred over accusations of Islamophobia against its head, Joe Ricketts.
The Premier League board of directors had removed Abramovich from his position as director of Chelsea, with the league saying the decision "does not impact on the club’s ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a license issued by the Government which expires on 31 May 2022."
He had put the club on sale in early March before the UK sanctioned him over the war in Ukraine, and local media shortly reported that he was selling the club as well as other properties in the former EU state to dodge such penalties.
Since Abramovich's acquisition of the club in 2003, Chelsea became the English football champion five times, winning the English Football Cup three times, and winning the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League twice.