George Osborne is advising Todd Boehly on a bid to buy Chelsea Football Club from sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, as the auction enters its final stages, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The former UK prime minister, now a partner at boutique consulting firm Robey Warshaw, is adding to her political experience as Boehly competes with rival billionaires to buy the Premier League side Brother.
Boehly, who is working with Goldman Sachs on the deal, is competing with private equity moguls Josh Harris and David Blitzer, and a separate bid led by Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team and co-owner. Chairman of a private equity firm. The capital Bain.
Osborne, a west London football fan, is close to Daniel Finkelstein, a Times columnist and Tory colleague who has supported Boehly, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and former owner. Chairman of Guggenheim Partners.
The involvement of Osborne and Robey Warshaw points to the intricacies of the Chelsea auction. Issues go beyond price and range from the need to fund the expansion of its Stamford Bridge stadium to the government’s role in the sale due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to donating the net amount to charitable causes. . Osborne’s role was first reported by Sky News.
A consortium that includes the Ricketts family of Chicago, hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team owner Dan Gilbert give up auction on Friday after disagreeing with the terms of their bid.
Bidders are required to submit detailed proposals by Thursday.
Merchant bankers at Raine Group are handling the sale.
Any transaction requires special approval from the British government because of sanctions against Abramovich.
Osborne left the Evening Standard newspaper and property manager BlackRock when he joined Robey Warshaw last year.
It advised on some of the UK’s best-known deals, such as the London Stock Exchange Group’s $27 billion purchase of data provider Refinitiv and the £4.2 billion acquisition of Macquarie for a controlling stake in National Grid’s gas measurement and transmission business.
Osborne last year helped Robey Warshaw win the assignment to advise Rusal, a subsidiary of the Russian metal group EN+, on a number of issues.