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    Meet Todd Boehly, Chelsea FC’s New Financial Muscle

    Chelsea FC has consistently been in the trends over the past couple of weeks for several reasons – from off-pitch matters, notably reeling from the cascading effects of geopolitical sanctions, public musings of a player’s unhappy father, as well as player contract issues to on-pitch matters such as a string of inconsistent (in the case of Wolves, shocking) results.

    Paramount among the reasons why the club has been consistently trending is the effect geopolitical sanctions is having on the club. Roman Abramovich, Chelsea owner and longtime bankroller was hit with sanctions by the UK government for his purported ties with the Russian government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Consequently, the Russian billionaire’s assets in the UK were frozen – including Chelsea FC! Abramovich previously tried to find a new owner for the club before the sanctions hit but was unsuccessful.

    After weeks of bid activity and vetting, the Raine Group – a global merchant bank appointed by Mr. Abramovich [before the sanctions took effect] to oversee the sale of the club – whittled down the list of potential buyers to one – a bid from a consortium led by American, Todd Boehly. Boehly’s consortium whose net worth is valued at £10.86Bn was announced last week to have signed an agreement to buy Chelsea FC from Roman Abramovich for a reported fee of £4.25Bn.

    When completed, Boehly’s consortium would not only have completed the most expensive change in ownership in sporting history but also make Chelsea FC the club with the sixth richest owner behind Newcastle’s Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund(1st place with £320Bn), PSG’s Qatar Investment Authority(2nd place with £220Bn), Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour(3rd place with £21Bn), RB Leipzig, RB Salzburg and New York Red Bulls’ Dietrich Mateschitz(4th place with £15.7Bn) and Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli(5th place with £14Bn).

    Contrary to expectations, Tuchel and his charges have, in the face of very unusual circumstances and consequent uncertainty, managed to keep the club’s hopes of a top-four finish alive. Fans’ nerves were considerably calmed following last Friday’s announcement that Boehly’s consortium had signed an agreement to buy Chelsea FC From Mr. Abramovich.

    Who is Todd Boehly?

    Todd Boehly is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist whose grandparents emigrated from Germany to the United States of America. He is the co-founder, chairman, chief executive officer and controlling member of Eldridge Industries, a holding company headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

    He spent his early career at Credit Suisse First Boston and J.H. Whitney & Company, joining Guggenheim Partners in 2001, where he launched the firm’s credit investing business, assumed responsibilities for its asset management business, and most recently served as president.

    Boehly owns 20% of the Los Angeles Dodgers and is also a part owner of the Los Angeles Sparks. In 2019, Todd Boehly made an attempt to buy the English football club Chelsea for $3 billion, but the owner at the time, Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, rejected the takeover bid. Boehly is an owner of fantasy sports company DraftKings and esports organization Cloud9.

    Boehly and Mark Walter acquired a 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers together from Philip Anschutz in July 2021. As of February 2021, the Lakers were third-highest valued team in the NBA, with an estimated value of $5.14 billion.

    In October 2021, Boehly spoke at SporticoLive’s “Invest in Sports” summit, where he discussed the sports industry and investment in professional sports.

    On December 14, 2021, it was announced that Boehly was heading an ownership group in exclusive negotiations to purchase a controlling interest in the Washington Spirit. He had entered talks to purchase the franchise in October 2021, and reportedly intended to finalize a deal, however On January 12, 2022, it was reported that Boehly had withdrawn from negotiations to purchase the team.

    In early 2013, Boehly led a deal between Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers to create SportsNet LA, a regional network to broadcast all Dodgers’ games and Dodgers-related programming. In 2015, he bought some of the assets he had collected at Guggenheim, including The Hollywood Reporter, Dick Clark Productions and Security Benefit to found Eldridge, a private holding company which invests in various industries.

    The new Chelsea FC owner is on the boards of Cain International, Kennedy Wilson, PayActiv, Truebill, CAIS, Horizon Acquisition Corporation I, and Horizon Acquisition Corporation II. His firm, Eldridge owns Security Benefit Life Insurance and SE2, a technology platform for insurance companies. last year, he invested in Clearcover Insurance, as well as DPL Financial Advisors, an RIA insurance network.

    Through Eldridge, Boehly has also invested in real estate firms such as Kennedy Wilson, and helped found European real investment firm Blackbrook Capital. In 2021, he acquired a minority stake in Langdon Park Capital, a Black-owned real estate investment company, through Eldridge. He has also invested in the digital technology industry, including companies such as Gopuff, Dataminr, AI security company AnyVision, digital health platform Wellthy, and mobile game developer Tripledot Studios. GoPuff filed to raise an additional $1 billion in July 2021, taking the company from a $14 billion valuation to $15 billion.

    Further, he has invested in the hospitality group Aurify Brands, which owns restaurant chains such as Le Pain Quotidien, as well as invested in Chuck E. Cheese.

    Also, he helped found the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance in 2014 at William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business with his wife, Katie Boehly in 2014 via a multi-year gift. They also sponsor the yearly women’s Stock Pitch and Leadership Summit at William & Mary. In 2020, Todd and Katie committed funding to the construction of a new athletic complex and sports performance center at the college.

    Boehly is also actively involved with various organizations, including Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES), the Brunswick School, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

     

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