As reported by Reuters today, billionaire Phil Anschutz has officially kicked off the bidding for his Anschutz Entertainment Group. AEG owns more than 100 sports and entertainment venues worldwide, including what Angelenos might consider the crown jewel: the Staples Center. Other assets include the L.A. Galaxy soccer team and a good-sized chunk of the Lakers. But don’t go digging in your couch cushions, sports fans. Anschutz won’t entertain any bids below the $6 to $10 billion range. Not many of us could come up with that kind of scratch, even without a recession.
Among the dozens of likely candidates, according to Reuters, are the newly proud owner of the Dodgers, Guggenheim Partners, private equity companies such as Bain Capital and Colony Capital, and billionaire-about-town Patrick Soon-Shiong. Or, a consortium made up of individual and corporate buyers. Of course, transferring ownership of AEG’s sports assets will be subject to approval by the NHL and the NBA – making the sale potentially problematic.
What will new ownership mean to the company’s 25,000 employees? Who has the power to write a check for this big-ticket property? Which buyer is most likely to bring L.A. its long-awaited NFL franchise? Going once…going twice….
David Brooks, Managing Editor, Venues Today