By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
September 21, 2012
A seismic shift could be coming to the sports world with the announcement that Anschutz Entertainment Group is on the market. The company, owned by billionaire Phil Anschutz, owns or operates dozens of sports properties. It’s portfolio includes ownership of L.A. Live, Staples Center, the NHL Kings, the MLS Galaxy, O2 Arena in London, and a minority stake in the Lakers.
Anschutz, the 44th richest man in the U.S. with a personal fortune valued at $7.6 billion, wants to sell the entire company to one buyer. He’ll entertain bids from private-equity firms, global entertainment, leisure or real-estate companies, or extremely wealthy individuals. LA billionaire and minority Lakers owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has confirmed interest in buying AEG. Soon-Shiong put together an unsuccessful bid for the Dodgers.
A primary concern with an AEG sale is the fate of Farmers Field, the proposed $1.5 billion football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. It’s too early to speculate how an AEG sale would affect the project and the possible return of the NFL to LA.