More than a quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers is about to have a new owner.
Billionaire Philip Anschutz has reached an agreement to sell his 27 percent minority stake in the Lakers to Los Angeles Dodgers owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly, Sportico reported Saturday. The sale has reportedly not been approved by the NBA Board of Governors.
The exact price tag of the deal is also unknown, but it is definitely going to be significant. The Lakers were estimated to be worth $4.6 billion by Forbes this year, which will happen when you're the NBA's most star-studded franchise in one of its biggest markets.
What does this mean for the Lakers?
Anschutz, the founder of Staples Center owner and entertainment giant AEG, had the second-largest stake in the team behind the Buss family's 66 percent. The sale also carries some implications for the team as a whole, as Anschutz reportedly had right of first refusal on any sale for control of the team.
It's unclear if the buyer will retain similar rights.
While the founder of Staples Center's operator is selling his stake, the Lakers don't appear likely to be one the move. Lakers president of business operations Tim Harris told Sportico that he doesn't see the team breaking its lease, recently extended to 2041:
“Given the lease extension, we look forward to another 20 years–plus–of business with AEG,” he said. “There isn’t a lot that changes. We get to add more partners. We don’t view this as Phil is going anywhere.”
The Lakers will soon be the sole NBA tenant of Staples Center, as the Los Angeles Clippers remain on track to move to their new arena in Inglewood in 2024. The Los Angeles Kings (owned by AEG) and Los Angeles Sparks round out the tenant group.
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