Liverpool and Boston Red Sox owner John W Henry has emerged as a potential bidder for the Washington Commanders, according to a report.
Henry’s Fenway Sports Group confirmed on Monday that it is prepared to sell its controlling stake in Liverpool.
FSG has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to sell its stake in the Premier League club in a deal that is reportedly expected to fetch $4-5 billion and is said to already be in talks with suitors.
If it does sell the Reds, FSG could use its newly-acquired war chest to make a move for NFL team Washington Commanders, according to the New York Post.
‘This may be a precursor to him buying the Commanders,’ a source told the Post. ‘John wants to own an NFL team. They will look at the Commanders.’
There is speculation that Henry’s quick move to offload Liverpool stemmed from Dan Snyder’s announcement that he and his wife Tanya had hired the Bank of America to ‘consider potential transactions’ related to the NFL franchise.
Liverpool owner John W Henry has emerged as a potential bidder for the Commanders
Dan Snyder (left) announced last week that he and his wife Tanya had hired the Bank of America to ‘consider potential transactions’ related to the NFL franchise
However, Henry could face tough competition for the team from the reported bidding bloc of Jeff Bezos, Jay-Z and Matthew McConaughey.
McConaughey reportedly joined Bezos and Jay-Z’s joint bid for the team, which recently came onto the market following years of controversies tied to embattled owner Snyder.
Jay-Z and Bezos had dinner together Monday night amid reports that the pair are interested in buying the team.
The Commanders’ longtime owner Snyder is reportedly seeking more than $7bn for the team. Bezos and Jay-Z are valued at around $114.5bn and $1.3bn respectively.
The 57-year-old billionaire already has four interested potential buyers, Forbes reports. The Commanders (4-4) are worth roughly $5.6 billion – sixth best among NFL teams – according to Forbes. Snyder bought the club for a reported $800 million in 1999.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, former Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, and entertainment mogul Byron Allen have also voiced interest in buying the team.
Snyder became owner of the team in 1999 and has seen overseen a litany of problems within the franchise, including allegations of a toxic workplace and sexual harassment.
Both Jay-Z and Jeff Bezos are reportedly interested in buying the NFL’s Washington Commanders from embattled owner Dan Snyder
Actor Matthew McConaughey has reportedly joined Bezos and Jay-Z’s joint bid for the team
Snyder also resisted calls to change the team’s name for years, as they were formerly known as the Redskins, which is considered offensive to Native Americans.
Bezos, Carter, and McConaughey all have some experience in the sports world.
The Amazon founder has already made an imprint on the NFL, with his company buying exclusive streaming rights to Thursday Night Football for $1billion per season.
Jay-Z formerly owned a minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets, and then founded sports agency Roc Nation sports, which now boasts clients such as LaMelo Ball, Kevin De Bruyne and Saquon Barkley.
Finally, McConaughey is a minority owner of recent expansion MLS side Austin FC, and also holds the title ‘minister of culture’ there as well.
In comparison to Bezos’s $114.5bn, Henry is said to be worth $4bn and once any debts have been subtracted the sale of Liverpool could leave him with around $2-3bn.
Among the suitors in the Merseyside team are fellow Americans and MLB team owners, the Ricketts family, who were also in contention to buy Chelsea and sought ownership of Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Times.
Henry is pictured with his wife Linda Pizzuti (right) and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left)
The FSG chief is said to be worth $4bn and once any debts have been subtracted the sale of Liverpool could leave him with around $2-3bn
The Ricketts family, the sole owners of the Chicago Cubs, are likely to not be alone in interested investors from the States.
The Ricketts family, which is worth an estimated $3.7bn, according to Forbes, reached success after family patriarch Joe Ricketts founded the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade in 1975. As of 2019, the 81-year-old has a net worth of $2.7bn, according to Forbes.
Joe’s son, Thomas, is currently the Cubs chairman since 2009 after buying the MLB team for an estimated $900million. He is also the chairman and founder of Incapital LLC., a Chicago-based firm that provides securities firms and individual investors more efficient access to corporate bonds since 1999.
Together, with his sister Laura and brothers Pete and Todd, Thomas shares ownership of the Cubs through their family trust and the franchise has won a World Series in 2016 whilst under their tenure. Tom’s net worth is currently, $2.3bn as of 2018 according to Forbes.
Chicago Cubs owner Thomas S. Ricketts celebrates with The Commissioner’s Trophy after the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series. The Ricketts family were interested in buying Chelsea and there have been reports they will now explore Liverpool
Forbes also reports that the Ricketts family is worth an estimated $3.7 billion, as of 2022
Joe Ricketts built his family’s wealth off the foundation of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade in 1975. He is worth $2.7 billion, as of 2019, according to Forbes
Liverpool has re-established itself as one of the leading clubs in Europe and won its first English league title in 30 years in 2020, under FSG.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has also helped the club win the Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup and League Cup since being hired in 2015. But he has spoken publicly of the difficulty in challenging Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City in the transfer market and the recent sell of Newcastle United to the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.
‘Nobody can compete with City in that,’ Klopp said last month. ‘You have the best team in the world and you put in the best striker (Erling Haaland) on the market. No matter what it costs, you just do it. . . . What does Liverpool do? We cannot act like them. It’s not possible.’
Liverpool were valued at $4.48bn by Forbes at the end of the 2021-2022 season (in May) after being bought by FSG for $345m in 2010. The Reds could be sold for higher than it’s current valuation should an auction take momentum.
Henry and wife Linda celebrating Liverpool’s Champions League triumph back in 2019
Depending on the stature of bids to buy the Merseyside club, FSG could then assess the valuation of a minority stake, should it decide to only sell a percentage of the team, The Times reports.
A group interested in acquiring Chelsea that was led by former British Airways and Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton, and was backed by Brazilian business tycoon Michael Klein, who owns popular South American chain of department stores, Casas Bahia, has close ties with Liverpool.
The two investment bankers were involved in the Reds’ sale to FSG in 2010 from previous American owners, George Gillet Jr. and Tom Hicks.
A group that was interested in acquiring Chelsea in May and that was led by former British Airways and Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton (left), as well as Brazilian business tycoon Michael Klein (right), who owns popular South American chain of department stores, Casas Bahia, could be in contention to buy the Reds
Last year, Fenway sold a 10 percent share of the club for $625m to RedBird Capital Partners – an American private investment firm founded by Gerry Cardinale and with equity stored in AC Milan, the Red Sox and the Yankees. The firm manages $7.5bn of equity, according to GlobeNewswire.
At the time of the transaction, FSG was valued at $5.76bn but suffered losses from the financial consequences of the pandemic when the consortium raised its debt after borrowed from itself, instead of plunging its ventures into crisis.
The Boston-based group, however, remains adamant that it ‘remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch’ for the time being.