LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The sports and entertainment company that owns the Staples Center, L.A. Live, and the Los Angeles Kings is up for sale.
Denver-based Anschutz Co., owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, said in a statement Tuesday that they’ve started the process of selling AEG, or the Anschutz Entertainment Group.
“Given the success of the management team and employees in establishing AEG as one of the premier real estate development, live sports and entertainment platforms in the world, as well as the value AEG has created with the strategic assets that comprise its platform, this is an appropriate time to transition AEG to a new qualified owner,” said Cannon Y. Harvey, president of the Anschutz Company.
Harvey said, “This process represents a unique opportunity to maximize value for all concerned and will allow us to assure that, like the Anschutz Company, the new owner will have the financial resources, commitment and vision to support AEG’s management team as it continues to grow the businesses of AEG and the power of its brands.”
Frank Mottek, the host of KNX 1070′s Business Hour, said if a deal with the sports giant goes through, it could mark the second blockbuster transaction in Southern California this year.
“They’ve hired the same company that did the Dodger deal for $2.1 billion. It wouldn’t surprise me if Guggenheim, which bought the Dodgers, may also be interested in buying AEG,” he said.
AEG has been behind the plans to build a professional football stadium in Los Angeles.
AEG President Tim Leiweke indicated those plans will not be affected by the sale.
“The new owner will have the historic opportunity to benefit from AEG’s strategy to reunite Los Angeles with the NFL, as AEG moves forward with its efforts to bring an NFL franchise to Farmers Field to be built at L.A. Live,” he said.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement saying he’s known about the company’s plans for some time.
“I have worked with both Philip Anschutz and Tim Leiweke for years to bring a football team to Los Angeles,” he said. “I have the commitment from both of them that this sale will not affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future and will not affect my support for moving ahead with Farmers Field and the Convention Center site.”
AEG’s holdings include pro soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, part-ownership of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, and major entertainment and real estate holdings in downtown Los Angeles.
Outside of L.A., AEG owns Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and New York’s Barclay’s Center, the new home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. It also owns arenas in Sweden, China and Australia.
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