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Monday, 30 May 2022

Chelsea statement following takeover completion.

Chelsea Statement in full. 

Roman Abramovich has completed the sale of Chelsea Football Club and related companies to an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

This sale process commenced on the 2nd of March, when Mr. Abramovich announced his intention to sell the Club after 19 successful years of ownership. In selling the Club, Mr. Abramovich stipulated that the new owner must be a good steward of the Club, the net proceeds of the sale must be donated to charity, and that he would not seek the repayment of loans made to affiliates of the Club.

Following this announcement, the Board of Directors and senior staff at the Club immediately commenced work on the sale transaction. Raine, a global merchant bank chosen by the owner to run the sale process, has significant expertise and experience advising premium sports clubs on mergers and acquisitions and advised the owner and the Club in the process.

SANCTIONS

On 10 March, Mr. Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government. Under sanctions, the Club operated within the confines and constraints of the restrictive General Licence granted by the UK Government, while doing its best to maintain the ordinary course of business. At all times throughout the process the Club’s objective was to support our men’s, women’s and academy teams and allow them to operate with the absolute minimum level of inconvenience and distraction.

These sanctions also presented unique and unforeseen challenges to the sale process, but the Board and Raine continued to work on the transaction in accordance with the owner’s objectives.

PROCESS

The process was extremely thorough and completed on an accelerated timeline. Many described the proposed transaction as “unprecedented”, and it was. A transaction such as this would normally take nine months to a year to complete; we did it in less than three months.

The Club received more than 250 enquiries from proposed purchasers, held detailed discussions with more than 100 individuals and entities, and entered into 32 confidentiality agreements, which allowed for due diligence with respect to confidential Club information. Ultimately, the Club received 12 credible bids, resulting in 4 and then 3 final bidders. The Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder.

PREFERRED BIDDER

The group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital rose above the other groups through the strength of the partnership between the group’s component parts, which includes Mark Walter, co-founder and CEO of Guggenheim Capital; and Hansjörg Wyss, founder of the Wyss Foundation; Todd and Mark’s participation in the ownership of several sports franchises with sustained winning traditions, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Sparks; a belief by the Board that this group could help the Club resolve certain current challenges and could assist in creating new opportunities, and help the Club reach its long-term strategic objectives. We believe the Board and the Boehly/Clearlake group have a shared vision for the future of Chelsea Football Club.

STRUCTURE OF TRANSACTION

In choosing the right stewards for the Club through this transaction, we agreed with the new owners that their group would make certain binding financial commitments, including investments in the Academy and women’s team, the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea Foundation.

We also agreed several further conditions to ensure that the new owners continue to provide equity funding for future capital and operating expenditures, and that the Club will not be laden with inappropriate financial indebtedness.

STAKEHOLDERS AND APPROVALS

Throughout this process, we have worked very closely with the UK Government, in particular the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and HM Treasury, as well as with the Premier League, The FA and UEFA. In order to complete the transaction, we needed consents and approvals from all, and in particular from the UK Government.

We have been able to obtain all necessary consents, as well as further licences required in Portugal, Canada and Jersey due to the structure of the previous ownership

New joint control owners are committed to growth and building on the tradition of unparalleled football excellence.

The consortium led by Todd Boehly, chairman and CEO of Eldridge, and Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”), today announced completion of the ownership transfer of Chelsea Football Club (“Chelsea FC” or “the Club”). The consortium also includes Hansjörg Wyss, founder of the Wyss Foundation, and Mark Walter, co-founder and CEO of Guggenheim Capital. Walter and Boehly are owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Sparks. The transaction has received all necessary approvals from The Government of the United Kingdom, The Premier League, and other authorities.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boehly and Clearlake will share joint control and equal governance of the Club. Boehly will serve as Chairman of the holding company.

Boehly and Clearlake are committed to investing in key areas that will extend and enhance Chelsea’s competitiveness, including the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, further investment in the Academy, the Women’s Team, and Kingsmeadow stadium. The owners will also continue the important work of the Chelsea Foundation.

“We are honoured to become the new custodians of Chelsea Football Club,” said Boehly. “We’re all in – 100% -- every minute of every match. Our vision as owners is clear: we want to make the fans proud. Along with our commitment to developing the youth squad and acquiring the best talent, our plan of action is to invest in the Club for the long-term and build on Chelsea’s remarkable history of success. I personally want to thank ministers and officials in the British government, and the Premier League, for all their work in making this happen.”

Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano, Clearlake co-founders and managing partners, said, “We are excited to commit the resources to continue Chelsea’s leading role in English and global football, and as an engine for football talent development. We also want to thank the authorities for all their work throughout the process. As pioneers in sports and media investing, we are thrilled to partner with Todd and the rest of the consortium to meaningfully grow the Club as a global platform. Together, we will expand the Club’s investment across infrastructure, technology, and sports science to support the incredible Chelsea football and commercial teams – all with the goal of leveraging this growth to fuel even more on-pitch success.”

The new ownership group wishes to recognise the dedication and professionalism of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, HM Treasury, and the Premier League in conducting their reviews of this historic and complex transaction.

Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Company LLC, and Robey Warshaw LLP served as financial advisors to the new ownership group. Latham & Watkins LLP, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel.

The Raine Group served as exclusive financial advisor to Fordstam Limited and Chelsea FC. Northridge Law LLP, Simmons & Simmons LP, and Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman LP served as legal counsel.

posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 7:00 pm  

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