Who Will Buy The Los Angeles Clippers?

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Phil Anshutz of AEG

1. AEG

AEG has been off the grid ever since owner Philip Anshutz decided to sell the company, only to take it off the market a couple of months later. AEG has been releasing employees and downsizing recently, which led to speculation that they may be trying, once again, to sell the company. AEG’s biggest loss came when Anshutz fired President Tim Leiweke, who has overseen AEG’s massive growth over the past two decades. Not only did Leiweke help build the Staples Center, which AEG owns, he purchased a 35% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers and purchased the majority share of the Los Angeles Kings. Leiweke, along with Dean Lombardi, helped put together the 2012 Kings team that took home the Stanley Cup.

After firing Leiweke, who now is the CEO of Maple Leafs Entertainment, Anshutz has remained quiet on what he will do with AEG. However, now that the Clippers have become available, it may be time for him to re-establish himself and AEG as big time players in the sports industry. AEG would be required to sell it’s 35% stake in the Lakers if they were to purchase the Clippers, a stake that Guggenheim Baseball Partners would severely overpay for. The 35% stake of the Lakers would probably fetch AEG somewhere between $700M and $850M, which means the Lakers would be valued somewhere between $2B and $2.5B.

AEG already owns a stake of the Kings, Lakers, Los Angeles Galaxy, and owns or operates as many as 14 stadiums around the world. There is no doubt that if Anshutz decides to get back into the game, the Clippers would be the perfect place to start. Anshutz is one of the wealthiest people on the planet and is rumored to have a net worth of $10B. Paying an additional $800M, after selling the Lakers stake, would be a drop in the bucket for him and AEG and would instantly increase the value of the company should he decide to sell in the next couple of years.