Baltimore Orioles agree to be sold to a group led by David Rubenstein for $1.7 billion

Baltimore Orioles agree to be sold to a group led by David Rubenstein for $1.7 billion

Jan 31,2024
CNN  — 

Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos has agreed to sell the baseball team he has owned for more than 30 years to a group led by billionaire David Rubenstein, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The price tag: $1.725 billion. That’s almost exactly 10 times the $173 million Angelos and his partners paid for the Orioles in an auction in 1993.

The purchase still needs to be finalized by Major League Baseball and the other 29 teams’ owners. Sweetening the deal for Baltimore fans: Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr., is expected to be included in Rubenstein’s ownership group, according to the person familiar with the deal.

The Orioles did not respond to a request for comment. Rubenstein declined to comment.

Angelos is selling a team on its way up in the big leagues. The Orioles won the American League East last season, and the team’s 101 wins was best in the AL and second-best in all of baseball in 2023. Last year, the Orioles ended with their best record since 1979, although the team flamed out in a division round exit of the playoffs — a disappointment for a team that had World Series ambitions.

The Orioles have been mediocre — or straight-up awful — throughout most of Angelos’ ownership. The team’s last world championship was in 1983, 10 years before Angelos bought the team. The Orioles had a losing record in 17 out of the 30 years Angelos owned the team, and they had just six playoff appearances in that span.

The new owner, Rubenstein, is a Baltimore native and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a Washington, DC-based private equity giant. He has been in talks to buy the Orioles for some time; the 74-year-old is a longtime Orioles fan.

If the sale is approved, Rubenstein will become the controlling partner in the ownership group, the key decision-maker. Rubenstein assembled a team of Investors that includes Ripken and Ares Management co-founder Michael Arougheti, the person familiar with the deal said.

Although Rubenstein would eventually buy the entire team, pending approval, he will not own the majority of the team immediately. Angelos will become an adviser after the sale and will maintain a stake in the club, with Rubenstein initially controlling just 40% of it. After the 94-year-old Angelos dies, the Rubenstein group will own all 100% of the club.

The Orioles’ $1.7 billion valuation is nearly triple what the team was worth in 2014, according to Forbes. That makes Baltimore the 18th most valuable franchise in baseball, just ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Colorado Rockies.

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