Philip Anschutz, founder of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), has agreed to sell his 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to Los Angeles Dodgers co-owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly, according to a report by Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico:
AEG Chief Executive Officer Dan Beckerman in an interview said the proposed transaction “is part of some financial planning and redeployment of capital to other AEG projects and growth initiatives,” specifically mentioning venues, real estate, ticketing and live entertainment projects around the globe.
The plan is “expanding business lines and geography,” Beckerman said, declining to address how much the buyer has agreed to pay and at what valuation.
The sale hasn’t been approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors yet, but the vote can be conducted remotely, according to a report by Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. If the sale is approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, Walter and Boehly, both of whom are also co-owners of the Los Angeles Sparks, would have the second-largest minority stake in the Lakers. The Buss family have the largest stake in the franchise at 66%.
The sale would also give Walter and Boehly the first right of refusal if Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner of the Lakers, and the Buss family ever decided to sell the team, according to Sportico’s report. However, in 2019, Jeanie Buss told Zach Lowe of ESPN that “there’s no reason for us to ever sell the Lakers,” so that’s unlikely to happen.
The Lakers will still have a relationship with Anschutz and his sports and entertainment group the Staples Center, which they own. In May, the Lakers announced that they renewed their lease at Staples Center through the 2040-41 season.
According to Forbes’ annual list of NBA team valuations, the Lakers are the third-most valuable team in the NBA at $4.6 billion. The New York Knicks ($5 billion) and Golden State Warriors ($4.7 billion) are ranked first and second, respectively.