US financier Todd Boehly, part-owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, has made an unsuccessful bid to buy English Premier League outfit Chelsea from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
The bid is reported to have fallen short of Abramovich’s $3bn (€2.7bn) asking price although Boehly continues to be interested in buying the Premier League club according to The Wall Street Journal. It is not clear at this stage how much Boehly’s offer was worth.
Boehly made his fortune in private equity, launching the credit investing division of Guggenheim Partners before going on to found Elridge Industries. He has made large investments in sport, media and real estate, holding a 20-per-cent stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers and is part owner of the Los Angeles Sparks, the Women’s National Basketball Association team.
The US financier has also been mentioned as a possible candidate to buy Chelsea’s London rival Tottenham Hotspur FC with some reports suggesting that the club’s recent investment in a new £1bn stadium could make it a more attractive commodity.
Chelsea shelved plans of its own to build a £500m stadium to replace its current Stamford Bridge home, increasing speculation that Abramovich would be willing to sell the club because of rising tensions between his native Russia and the UK.
Abramovich took Israeli citizenship last year after facing unusually long delays in renewing his UK visa. The UK government had hinted that it could take action against Russian oligarchs after accusing the country of poisoning Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March 2018.
The Financial Times reported in August last year that Abramovich appointed US merchant bank Raine to value the club after receiving multiple offers from prospective buyers.
Private equity firm Silver Lake is understood to have tabled an offer just months after the club rejected a bid from Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire founder of chemicals group Ineos.
Silver Lake recently acquired a 10-per-cent shareholding in City Football Group, the owners of Manchester City, for $500m (€453.8m).