Chicago Cubs owners and Ken Griffin join bid to buy Chelsea | Chelsea

The owners of the Chicago Cubs, the Ricketts, are preparing to launch a bid for Chelsea after joining billionaire hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin.

Interested parties have until Friday to submit a takeover proposal to Raine Group, the bank that handled the process, and Ricketts have said they will make a bid to buy the club from Roman Abramovich before the deadline. Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel Asset Management and is valued by Forbes at $26.5 million (£20.2 million).

A family spokesman said: “The Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, can confirm that they will lead the investment group that will make an official bid for Chelsea Football Club this Friday (18 March).

“As longtime operators of iconic professional sports teams, the Ricketts family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, fans and community. We look forward to sharing more details of our plans in due course.”

The Ricketts believe their work with the Cubs proves that they are strong candidates to own Chelsea. The baseball team won the World Series in 2016 and the family has overseen a massive redevelopment of the team’s iconic pitch, Wrigley Field, which suggests they won’t be blown away by the potential challenge of renovating Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea needed a sale to be made quickly after the British government imposed sanctions on Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The European champions operate under strict licenses and risk falling into financial trouble if they are not bought soon.

A total of 200 groups have told Raine about their interests. At the forefront so far is the consortium fronted by Todd Boehly, Jonathan Goldstein and Hansjörg Wyss. All three have made bids of between £2 billion and £2.5 billion and are open to more investors joining their group.

Reports that British property tycoon Nick Candy is ready to team up with Boehly, Wyss and Goldstein, who are Tottenham fans, are not true. A Candy spokesman said: “There are no ongoing talks with Nick Candy and the Todd Boehly and Jonathan Goldstein consortium, not least because Mr Candy does not want a lifelong Spurs fan as part of his future Chelsea Football Club ownership.”

Candy, who supports Chelsea, plans to make an offer. Sources say he has been approached by a number of investors and has the funds to succeed with the takeover.

There was also interest from New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. Saudi Media Group will also make an offer.

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Raine remains hopeful a deal can be reached by the end of this month and, over time, bidders have been given the opportunity to view the club’s latest accounts and wage bill. Groups that are serious about buying Chelsea are doing their due diligence.

Chelsea operate under a limited special license and are eager to avoid delays, especially as any deal requires final approval from the UK government.

With that in mind, Raine wanted to make the process as smooth as possible. Bidders are told they need to offer legal guarantees that they have the funds to complete the deal.

Chicago Cubs owners and Ken Griffin join bid to buy Chelsea | Chelsea

Source link Chicago Cubs owners and Ken Griffin join bid to buy Chelsea | Chelsea

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