Todd Boehly Consortium has been named as the preferred bidder to buy Chelsea Football Club, according to British media reports.
Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich put the Premier League club up for sale just before being sanctioned by the UK government after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The bidding process is close to a conclusion, with New York bank the Raine Group handling the sale for Abramovich reportedly picks Boehly Consortium as the front runners.
British businessman Jim Ratcliffe had made a dramatic late intervention in the bidding war with a £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion) offer earlier on Friday.
Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals company Ineos, reportedly made the biggest offer for Chelsea during the process, but his approach came after Raine Group’s initial deadline had passed.
A spokesperson for Boehly Consortium refused to comment, but the chairman and chief executive of Eldridge Industries have taken a major step towards taking over at Stamford Bridge.
Boehly Consortium has united with fellow Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investment firm Clearlake Capital in the consortium.
Boehly Consortium was part of the ownership group that bought the Dodgers for $2.15 billion in 2012.
The Dodgers, fuelled by their owners’ significant investment in star players, won their first World Series title for 32 years in 2020.
Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal are already owned by American investors.
Stephen Pagliuca’s group was the first to be informed that they had been removed from the process and their bid rejected.
Sir Martin Broughton’s team were also informed they had not been successful amid Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 11th-hour £4.25 billion bid for Chelsea.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Boehly team had entered exclusive talks to acquire the club which suggested they had won the three-horse race.
Once the Raine Group, the US merchant bank overseeing the sale of Chelsea Football Club approves Boehly Consortium’s bid, the UK government will now grant licence to allow the sale to be completed.
The sale or takeover process is expected to be concluded on May 31.