Todd Boehly has reportedly signed the purchase agreement to buy Chelsea in a deal worth up to £4billion – a huge step in ending Roman Abramovich’s time in charge
The US businessman and his consortium are believed to have agreed a deal worth up to £4billion with Abramovich, and they are now seeking approval from the UK government and the Premier League. A deal is expected to be completed before the end of the month.
Chelsea were put up for sale by Abramovich just days before the Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government in March for allegedly having ties with Vladimir Putin, something he denies. Putin is currently waging a bloody and unprovoked war in neighbouring Ukraine.
The Blues are currently operating under a special license, which is due to expire on May 31. The UK government will need to issue a new license if and when Boehly’s takeover is approved. Boris Johnson and his colleagues are not expected to stand in the consortium’s way.
Boehly’s consortium will also need to pass the Premier League’s owners’ and director’s test. The organisation are expected to approve the proposed takeover.
As reported by The Telegraph, the signing of the purchasing agreement is seen as the biggest step of the process to date. It is a commitment that transfers the shares of the seller to the buyer – setting a date of completion.
It’s believed Boehly – a co-owner of baseball team LA Dodgers – and his colleagues signed the deal on Friday, a week after they were named as the preferred bidder by the Raine Group – the investment bank who are brokering the deal on Abramovich’s behalf.
Boehly’s consortium includes fellow businessmen Hansjorg Wyss, Mark Walker and Jonathan Goldstein. They’ve signed a series of “anti-Glazer” clauses – stopping them from paying dividends or management fees, as well as prohibiting the sale of any shares, until 2032. The deal is also thought to have imposed strict limits on the level of debt they can take on.
Boehly appears to have beaten late competition from British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who tabled a last-minute offer for Chelsea through a consortium.
“We had a communication with Raine and met with them at the end of last week,” Ratcliffe told BBC sport. “We presented a bid but have heard very little back from them. My message to Raine is don’t discount our offer. We are British and have great intentions for Chelsea. If I was Raine I wouldn’t close any door.”
On why the offer came in late, Ratcliffe added: “I think that is quite simple – it is a big decision to buy a national asset and it’s a big commitment in terms of time and money.
“We’re there for the long term. That’s a lot of responsibility to take on and it takes time to reach a decision to be fully committed. We got there at the end of the day and we are committed. We’re not giving up.”