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Billionaire David Rubenstein is one of multiple suitors in talks to buy the Baltimore Orioles, according to Bloomberg’s Gillian Tan.
The majority of the team has been owned since 1993 by 93-year-old billionaire Peter Angelos.
The sale to Rubenstein “has not been finalized and talks may still fall apart,” Tan reported.
If the deal goes through, however, it could be announced in the first six months of 2024, according to Tan.
Rubenstein is the co-founder of the private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc. and has a reported net worth of $4.6 billion, per Forbes.
Forbes estimates the value of the Orioles at $1.7 billion, ranking 18th out of 30 MLB teams.
Angelos’ investment group originally bought the Orioles for $173 million.
Rubenstein, who is from Baltimore, said on CNBC in September 2022 that he felt like “one of the only people in private equity that doesn’t own a sports team.”
“All of my friends bought sports teams, and I said, ‘Look, your investors are not going to take you seriously by you diverting your attention to sports teams,’ but I was wrong,” Rubenstein said then.
“It’s very difficult to buy a sports team and lose money. Some people have done it, but it’s very rare… in baseball, you tend to make your money well you sell the team, but some of the teams have gone up in value dramatically.”
That interview came one month after Bloomberg’s Dawn Lim and Brian Chappatta reported that Rubenstein, alongside Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics owner Ted Leonsis, had “told key backers… they would consider buying the team if it comes up for sale.”
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“I feel that I’m one of the only people in private equity that doesn’t own a sports team,” says David Rubenstein. “It’s very difficult to buy a sports team and lose money. You make your money when you sell the team.” pic.twitter.com/dZxet0xYDx
If the Orioles do change hands over the next few months, the next majority owner will take over at an uncertain time for the franchise.
The Orioles’ lease at Camden Yards is currently set to expire at the end of the year, and no long-term agreement has yet been made between the stadium and chairman and CEO John Angelos, son of the team’s longtime owner.
If Angelos does not reach an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority by December 31, the team could go on a month-to-month lease, according to the Baltimore Banner‘s Pamela Wood.
Depending on the timing of a potential sale, that could mean a long-term decision on the Orioles’ future home stadium could be up to a new owner.