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5 Mar, 2022 14:56

10 ‘credible’ buyers in race for Chelsea takeover – report

Almost a dozen interested parties are understood have expressed serious interest in purchasing Premier League giants Chelsea
10 ‘credible’ buyers in race for Chelsea takeover – report

Chelsea have received interest from several prospective buyers about purchasing the club after its current owner, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, announced his decision to sell the European and world champions this week.

The Raine Group, the global merchant bank hired by Chelsea to act as a conduit to facilitate the sale of the Premier League giants, are understood to have received around 300 enquiries or expressions of interest, with 10 of these said to under consideration as 'credible parties'.

Several of the world's richest investors are said to have scrambled to investigate a purchase of one of the world's most robust sporting brands after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell the club this week, days after Russia launched a military campaign in Ukraine which has drawn the scorn of the West and launched several economic sanctions against Russia and some of its richest figures.

A number of US-based consortiums are thought to be among those who have expressed an interest, among them RedBird Capital Partners - the private equity company advised by Oakland Athletics executive vice president Billy Beane, the man played by Brad Pitt in the Hollywood movie 'Moneyball'.

It is understood that Chelsea have been valued at around £3 billion ($3.97 billion) and the club have set a March 15 deadline to submit official indications of an offer. Raine Group are set to make a 1.5% commission on any sale. 

Additionally, Michael Rubin, the man who helms the sports merchandise group Fanatics, is also considering a bid according to ESPN - though a spokesperson has denied that Rubin is interested despite Fanatics receiving a further round of funding this week totaling around $1.5 billion to move its overall valuation to $27 billion.

American Todd Boehly, meanwhile, who counts the Los Angeles Dodgers and the LA Lakers among on his investment portfolio, is another who is said to be mulling over an offer in conjunction with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.

Another group, RedBird, are also investigating the investment opportunity after purchasing an 11% stake in the Fenway Sports Group in 2021 - the company who owns both the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool. 

ESPN also states that the potential sale of NFL outfit the Denver Broncos, who are also thought to be available for the right price, has led to an increased level of interest in buyers for Chelsea - as investment groups have already been strategizing about purchasing a globally recognized sports brand when it was announced the Chelsea was on the market.

Once a deal is confirmed it will end Abramovich's near 20-year stay at Stamford Bridge. 

He revealed this week that selling the club was in its "best interest" and vowed that proceeds from the sale will fund a foundation to benefit "victims of the war in Ukraine".

Chelsea play away to Burnley on Saturday in their first Premier League match since Abramovich announced his desire to sell.