A group led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has reached a £4.25 billion agreement to buy the Chelsea Football Club from embattled Russian owner Roman Abramovich, the club announced Friday.
The Boehly group had been selected as the preferred bidder last Friday and entered exclusive negotiations for what is believed to be the most expensive sale of a sports team in history.
Of the £4.5 billion, £2.5 billion will reportedly be used to purchase shares of the club while £1.75 billion will be committed to "further investment for the benefit of the Club," including investments in Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Academy, the Women’s Team and its Kingsmeadow stadium and the Chelsea Foundation.
Per Chelsea, the sale is expected to be completed in late May due to the need for certain regulatory approvals.
While Boehly is presented as the public face of the group, the largest stake will be held by U.S. private equity firm Clearlake Capital, per the Guardian. The group also includes Dodgers co-owner and chairman Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss and British businessman Jonathan Goldstein.
In addition to the Dodgers, Boehly co-owns stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Sparks.
The deal ends a Chelsea ownership saga that began with Russian president Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, which triggered a public outcry against the country's oligarchy, of which Abramovich is certainly a part. Abramovich soon relinquished control of the club he bought for £140 million in 2003, then announced it was for sale.
Bidding was aggressive for one of soccer's most valuable clubs, which has won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions League titles since Abramovich assumed control. Abramovich's tenure as owner was defined by the kind of heavy spending that has since become commonplace among the Premier League's elite, and pressure will be on the Boehly group to continue that.