Russian Oligarch Abramovich Sells Chelsea Football Club & Goes Out On Top

By Jacob Taylor | Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:45
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Chelsea has confirmed that terms have been agreed for Todd Boehly to complete his £4.25billion takeover of the club.

Boehly's consortium was named as the preferred bidder to take over at Stamford Bridge by the Raine Group, the American bank that is supervising the sale. He partnered with fellow Dodgers owner Mark Walter, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, and Clearlake Capital investment firm.

Boehly saw off competition from consortiums fronted by Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton and even a late £4.25bn bid from Britain's wealthiest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Eldridge Industries chief executive Boehly was visiting London on Friday night, and is predicted to attend Chelsea's Premier League clash with Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. In the early hours of Saturday morning, on their official website, Chelsea confirmed that Boehly and his consortium could purchase the club, following the UK Government's approval.

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The statement reads as follows: 'Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter, and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club.

'Of the total investment being made, £2.5bn will be applied to purchase the shares in the Club and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100 per cent to charitable causes as confirmed by Roman Abramovich. UK Government approval will be required to transfer the proceeds from the frozen UK bank account.

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'In addition, the proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team, and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation.

'The sale is expected to complete in late May, subject to all necessary regulatory approvals. More details will be provided at that time.'

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Uncertainty regarding Chelsea's future has loomed for months after the Government sanctioned former owner Roman Abramovich in March following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Now, however, the takeover saga is positioned to end with Abramovich completing the sale to Boehly following a sign-off from the Government and the Premier League.

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Fears mounted this week that Abramovich, who was selling his shares after being sanctioned over his links to Vladimir Putin, might renege on his vow to write off a £1.6bn loan and leave the Blues in jeopardy.

Doing so would have thrown a major spanner in the works for any potential takeover, as UK ministers approving the sale wanted none of the proceeds from it to be sent to the Russian.

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Instead, they were keen for the money to go towards assisting in rebuilding Ukraine after Russian troops brutally invaded them.

News of Abramovich endeavoring to restructure the takeover agreement - which would require Chelsea's parent company, Frodsham, to pay off the debt held in trust at Jersey-based company Camberley International Investments - came as a shock to Government officials.

Still, the Government is now satisfied that none of the £1.6bn will end up in the hands of either Abramovich or members of his family.

The Premier League club was forced to operate on a special license provided by the Government due to sanctions imposed on Abramovich. If they were not fully licensed when the Premier League held its AGM on June 8, Chelsea risked expulsion from England's top flight and European competitions.

In such a case, the club would not have been eligible to re-enter the Premier League, nor would they be put forward by the FA as Champions League or Europa League representatives.

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