Home Private Equity MLB’s approval process for Orioles’ sale to David Rubenstein is moving rapidly...

MLB’s approval process for Orioles’ sale to David Rubenstein is moving rapidly – Baltimore Sun


The purchase of the Orioles by private equity billionaire David Rubenstein will be discussed by Major League Baseball owners at their meeting in Florida next week and is on track to be approved more quickly than similar team sales, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the deal’s prospects.

Such approvals – involving scrutiny of buyers’ backgrounds and their financing – typically take several months. Rubenstein’s agreement to become controlling owner is expected to move more rapidly than most, partly because the Baltimore native, philanthropist and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group is particularly well-known, said the sources. Rubenstein’s proposal also has the advantage of being relatively uncomplicated, one of the sources said. They spoke to The Baltimore Sun on condition of anonymity because the deal is private and still pending.

Estimates of the Rubenstein timeline are as short as less than six weeks, but the sources cautioned that it could take longer. The team’s spring training begins when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14 to Sarasota, Florida. After a breakthrough 2023 campaign, the Orioles are expected to again compete for an American League East title, and on Thursday evening traded for former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.

Rubenstein’s agreement to buy the team from the Angelos family and take over as controlling owner values the franchise and its assets at $1.725 billion. The family has owned the club since now-ailing family patriarch Peter Angelos bought it for $173 million in 1993.

Among the unresolved questions in the sale is what happens to the dozen-plus investors who have long owned minority stakes in Angelos’ group. The list includes Pam Shriver, the Baltimore-born tennis star who is now a Los Angeles-based broadcaster and coach and has owned a piece of the team for 31 years.

“My interest in my hometown team continues regardless of who the principal owner is,” she told The Sun on Thursday.

But with MLB approval still pending, Shriver, 61, said she isn’t sure what the future holds.

MLB’s ownership committee is expected to be briefed on the agreement during the meetings that begin Tuesday in Orlando.

Typically, the committee prepares a report and the sale then is voted on by an eight-owner executive council, which is chaired by Commissioner Rob Manfred and is different than the ownership committee.

If it clears that committee, it moves to all of the 30 owners and needs the approval of at least 23 of them. Approval by the larger group can come in a conference or video call and does not need to coincide with a regularly scheduled meeting such as the one that runs Tuesday through Thursday.

Rubenstein and MLB have declined comment on the specifics of his purchase until the agreement is approved.

The Rubenstein group will initially assume a 40% ownership stake in the Orioles with an agreement to purchase the remaining equity upon the death of Peter Angelos, according to one of the sources and third person with direct knowledge of the agreement.

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