Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

John Angelos and the rest of the Angelos family, the owners of the Baltimore Orioles since 1993, have reportedly agreed to sell the franchise to billionaires David Rubenstein and Mike Arougheti for $1.725 billion, according to John Ourand of Puck. Ourand adds that Rubenstein and Arougheti will initially purchase 40% of the club before buying the rest following Peter Angelos’ death. There is no estimated date on when the deal will close, but it is expected to be discussed at the owners’ meetings scheduled for next week in Orlando, Florida.

Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. is expected to be part of the incoming ownership group, according to the Baltimore Banner’s Andy Kostka. 

As Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams noted, the Angelos family’s interest in structuring the deal around Peter’s death has to do with the potential tax hit:

Should the Orioles sell while Peter Angelos is still alive, it could cost the family hundreds of millions in capital-gains taxes, a number that would decrease if the team is sold after his death. That tax burden has been a critical part of the family’s thinking in talks with potential buyers.

Rubenstein, who is from Baltimore, will become the club’s “control person” with Major League Baseball — a fancy way of saying the franchise’s main decision maker. Rubenstein’s reported interest in buying the Orioles dates back to at least last December. That was an eventful month for the Orioles, as it turned out, with the franchise rushing to come to a new leasing agreement with the City of Baltimore ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline. That agreement will keep the Orioles at Camden Yards for the foreseeable future. 

Peter Angelos first purchased the Orioles for $173 million in 1993, buying the club from venture capitalist Eli Jacobs. Peter became incapacitated in recent years, leading to his son John becoming the face of the franchise.

John’s time at the top of the organization included its fair share of controversy. In addition to the aforementioned leasing negotiations, John and his mother Georgia were sued by his brother Louis. That case was settled last year, but Louis alleged that John had designs on relocating the Orioles to Nashville, Tennessee as part of the suit.

Rubenstein’s estimated worth is around $3.7 billion, according to Forbes. He’s a co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm. Earlier this week, he announced he was retiring from the Kennedy Center board next January. 

The Orioles have not ranked higher than 27th in Opening Day payroll since 2018. Baltimore has assembled arguably the best young core in the game, however, led by catcher Adley Rutschman and infielder Gunnar Henderson. The Orioles also have the top prospect in baseball in CBS Sports’ estimation, in shortstop and former No. 1 pick Jackson Holliday.

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