Todd Boehly’s £4.25 billion takeover of Chelsea has been approved by the government, bringing to an end Roman Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of the club.
The Blues have been up for sale since the beginning of March, with Abramovich stating his intention to hand over control at Stamford Bridge in the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
The oligarch has subsequently had his assets frozen by the UK government after being identified as a figure with close ties to the Russian leader - a complicating factor that has held up any potential sale. Abramovich is not set to receive any profits from the multi-billion agreement with Boehly and his consortium.
Confirmation of the American magnate’s takeover was made early on Wednesday morning, with the LA Dodgers co-owner also in attendance for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Watford, alongside fellow consortium member Hansjörg Wyss.
Boehly will become Chelsea’s controlling owner once the buyout is properly finalised, though Californian investment firm Clearlake Capital will assume the majority shareholding. Sky Sports News report that the proceeds of the sale are going into a frozen bank account controlled by the UK government.
What have the government said about Boehly’s takeover of Chelsea?
Chelsea have been operating under a special governmental licence in the aftermath of Abramovich’s assets being frozen, albeit with restrictions over player transfers and the offering of new contracts to staff members.
As such, any sale was subject to approval from the UK government on the condition that the Russian billionaire would not see any of the proceeds from a potential deal.
Speaking on Wednesday, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Last night the Government issued a licence that permits the sale of Chelsea.
“Given the sanctions we placed on those linked to Putin and the bloody invasion of Ukraine, the long-term future of the club can only be secured under a new owner.
“We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals. I want to thank everyone, especially officials who’ve worked tirelessly to keep the club playing and enable this sale, protecting fans and the wider football community.”
Who is Todd Boehly?
Boehly’s consortium has had to fend of widespread competition to seal a buyout at Stamford Bridge
The 48-year-old is the co-founder, chairman, CEO, and controlling member of Eldridge Industries, a Connecticut-based holding company, as well as the interim CEO of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
With regards to his other sporting ventures, the businessman is co-owner of MLB franchise, the LA Dodgers, and as of last year, is also a minority stakeholder in famed NBA outfit, the LA Lakers.
In terms of the details of his bid, Boehly’s takeover would see voting rights shared equally between himself and Clearlake Capital, a Californian private equity firm who have no other direct ownerships in major sports assets.
Clearlake will, however, own a majority of the shares in Chelsea, and are understood to be advised by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where former chancellor George Osborne now works.