The deal represents the third highest fee for a baseball franchise.

Major League Baseball (MLB) owners have voted unanimously to approve the sale of the Baltimore Orioles to a group led by David Rubenstein.

Major League Baseball (MLB) owners have voted unanimously to approve the sale of the Baltimore Orioles to a group led by David Rubenstein.


Confirmed:

Rubenstein and his group have bought 40 per cent of the Orioles
Group also includes Ares Management co-founder and chief executive Michael Arougheti, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Orioles icon Cal Ripken Jr and Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang
Rubenstein becomes the franchise’s ‘control person’ following the acquisition
The Orioles’ current minority owners retain ‘tag-along’ rights, meaning they can sell their shares to the Rubenstein-led group at the same price of majority owners the Angelos family


Sale of control stake in franchise, along with related assets, is valued at US$1.725 billion

Context:

Rubenstein’s US$1.725 billion acquisition of the Orioles is the third highest takeover for a baseball franchise, with the record held by Steve Cohen’s US$2.4 billion purchase of the New York Mets. Forbes had last valued the Orioles at US$1.3 billion, which was the 18th highest valuation of all MLB teams.

It represents a significant return for the Angelos family, with the recently deceased Peter Angelos acquiring the team in 1999 for US$173 million.

The Orioles will now focus on upgrading their Camden Yards home, using US$600 million in state funds unlocked following a new 30-year lease agreement. As their new owner, Rubenstein will also now need to resolve the future of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) regional sports network (RSN), which is the subject of a long-running dispute between the Orioles and the Washington Nationals.

Comment:

“I congratulate David Rubenstein on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new control person of the Orioles,” Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, said in a statement.

“As a Baltimore native and a lifelong fan of the team, David is uniquely suited to lead the Orioles moving forward. We welcome David and his partners as the new stewards of the franchise.”

Coming next:

Rubenstein and his group will buy an additional 30 per cent stake in the Orioles from the Angelos family at a future date.