LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Phil Anschutz is expected to approve the final list of buyers for Anschutz Entertainment Group within the next few weeks as negotiations on a price for the company continue.
According to Reuters, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong and a partnership between Colony Capital and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund both made second round bids in February. However, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters that the bids were all under $7 billion, about a billion short of the price that AEG and their advisers Blackstone Group are looking for.
Another contender, Guggenheim Partners has reportedly dropped out of the bidding, but may re-enter the fray if the price drops sufficiently.
Some of the disparity between the bid and ask may result from the inclusion of sports teams in AEG's list of assets, including NHL team the L.A. Kings and two major league soccer teams, as well as a minority stake in the NBA franchise, the L.A. Lakers. Sports teams have traditionally been difficult to fully valuate and purchasers must undergo a separate vetting process from the sport's governing body. Another sticking point was reported to be Anschutz insistence that the company be sold as whole instead of selling individual assets.
Negotiations, reportedly, have been slowed as company owner Philip Anschutz recovers from back surgery. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers