Todd Boehly could soon become Chelsea’s new owner after it was revealed that his consortium is set to be chosen as the ‘preferred’ bidder by Raine, the New York bank overseeing the sale process from current owner Roman Abramovich.
LA Dodgers co-owner Boehly leads the group that also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, but their takeover bid briefly looked in trouble on Friday afternoon when British petrochemicals tycoon Sir Jim Ratcliffe suddenly confirmed a late offer of £4.25bn.
However, within just a few hours it had been reported that Boehly and his backers are on course to complete a takeover worth an estimated £3.5bn.
Boehly, who made his fortune in finance before branching out into real estate, technology and food, is still awaiting official confirmation from Raine, but will soon be in the final stages. Two rival bidding groups led by Sir Martin Broughton and Stephen Pagliuca are believed to have already been informed they have not achieved preferred bidder status.
Ratcliffe may have simply been too late, with his attempt appearing to bypass the previous deadlines and timeframes governing the overall process set out by Raine.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that sources are confident Chelsea intend to advance Boehly’s takeover bid for approval by the UK government ahead of a license for sale.
The Daily Mail has additionally stated that Boehly will have an expected period between five and seven days to ‘ratify an exclusivity agreement’, essentially securing his group the right to proceed with the full takeover. However, if that agreement doesn’t come before the deadline, the Ratcliffe bid could yet come back onto the table.
Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in the summer of 2003 but is selling the club amid severe sanctions from the UK government relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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