Orioles strike deal to sell team to Baltimore native David Rubenstein for .725B – Baltimore Sun

Orioles strike deal to sell team to Baltimore native David Rubenstein for $1.725B – Baltimore Sun

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The Angelos family has reached an agreement to sell the Orioles to private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, three sources with direct knowledge of the deal told The Baltimore Sun. Rubenstein is set to take over as the team’s control person as part of the deal, which values the team at $1.725 billion.

The Angelos family has owned the team since Peter Angelos bought it for $173 million in 1993. Legal documents from 2022 revealed that the now-ailing owner wished for the team to be sold following his death so his wife, Georgia, “could enjoy the great wealth they had amassed together.” His elder son, John, has been the team’s control person since 2020.

Rubenstein, 74, is a philanthropist and founder of the Carlyle Group. He is a Baltimore native and an alumnus of Baltimore City College.

He will initially assume a 40% ownership stake in the Orioles with an agreement to purchase the remaining equity upon the death of family patriarch Peter Angelos, according to one of the sources.

The Angelos family would be subject to significant capital gains taxes if the team is sold before Peter Angelos’ death. Angelos, 94, has been in declining health for more than six years.

Legendary Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. is expected to be part of the ownership group, one of the sources said.

Included in the deal is the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, the regional television network owned by the Orioles and the Washington Nationals, that source also said. The Orioles own the majority of MASN under a complex agreement that originated when the Montreal Expos moved to Washington — inside the Orioles’ media territory — in 2005. The two teams split rights’ fees and profits from MASN, with the Orioles receiving a bulk of MASN’s profits.

The Orioles and Nationals could not agree on how much each club should receive from a five-year period spanning 2012 to 2016, prompting multiple arbitrations and a decade of dispute. That litigation was finally settled this past summer and fees to be paid out for the following five-year span, 2017 to 2021, were quickly agreed to.

A spokesman for John Angelos declined to comment. The Orioles, MLB and the Maryland Stadium Authority did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MLB must still formally approve the sale. The league has strict protocols that include vetting potential investors and a vote by owners on the sale.

Puck News, a journalist-owned subscription media outlet that covers the financial and political elite, was the first to report the sale on Tuesday evening.

The Angelos family’s intent to sell the team became public as the family struggled over control of the Orioles after Peter Angelos became incapacitated. Louis Angelos, the younger of Peter’s two sons, sued his mother and brother in 2022 over what he characterized as John Angelos’ attempt to take control and ownership of the family fortune, including the ballclub.

According to the suit, John Angelos stalled and thwarted the plans to sell the team, unilaterally torpedoing interest from “one highly credible group of buyers.”

Subsequent filings in the suit, which was dropped last February after an apparent private settlement, revealed that the family had retained the investment bank Goldman Sachs and the law firm Jones Day to handle a potential sale.

The $1.725 billion sale price is slightly more than Forbes’ valuation of $1.713 billion, which ranked the Orioles 18th out of 30 MLB teams.

The Orioles recently agreed to a lease with the state of Maryland — which owns Oriole Park at Camden Yards — to remain in Baltimore for at least 15 years and potentially more than 30. That agreement was negotiated for years, spanning two governors and two stadium authority chairs, and was agreed to in December, shortly after it was reported by Bloomberg that Rubenstein was “in talks” to acquire the team.

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