Chelsea FC has agreed terms on the £4.25bn sale of the club to a consortium led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team.
A Chelsea statement said the new owners will pay £2.5bn for the club's shares with all the proceeds going into a frozen bank account to be donated to charity.
The consortium is led by Boehly but Californian private equity firm Clearlake Capital will own a majority of the shares in Chelsea. Other investors include US billionaire Mark Walter and Swiss businessman Hansjoerg Wyss. Robey Warshaw, the London investment bank where former Chancellor George Osborne’s is a partner, has also been signed onto the Boehly bid in an advisory capacity.
The club was put up for sale in March before owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine. Boehly’s bid has beaten competition to secure the Premier League giant.
Other consortiums that had been in the running to buy Chelsea have been headed by Sir Martin Broughton and the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Stephen Pagliuca, but they were told in late April by the Raine Group that their bids were unsuccessful. British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe - majority shareholder of chemical group Ineos - made a late offer, but it was dismissed.
In an official statement the club suggested a timescale for the completion of the deal, which reads, “The sale is expected to complete in late May subject to all necessary regulatory approvals. More details will be provided at that time.”
The consortium said it will provide £1.75bn to invest in the Premier League club, including "investments in Stamford Bridge, the academy, the women's team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation".
The takeover will still require approval from the Premier League and the UK government. This includes English football’s owners’ and directors’ test. Chelsea is currently operating under a special licence from the UK government which ends on 31st May, but last month, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the club were on "borrowed time" to complete the sale.
Despite reports to the contrary. Abramovich insisted on 5th May that he still wants to write off Chelsea’s £1.5 billion debt to him when the club’s sale is complete, which takes away a potential hurdle to completing the sale.
Boehly attended Stamford Bridge on Saturday 7th May during the team’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.