Philip Anschutz selling 27 percent stake in Lakers to Dodgers owners Mark Walter, Todd Boehly, per report

Los Angeles Lakers minority owner Philip Anschutz is selling his 27 percent stake in the team to Mark Walter and Todd Boehly, two of the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico. The deal has not yet been approved by the NBA‘s board of governors. If completed, the sale will not affect the Buss family’s 66 percent majority stake in the team, and Jeanie Buss will presumably remain the team’s governor. 

The deal does potentially affect the Lakers in two key ways, though. The first relates to their arena. Anschutz owns Staples Center through his company, AEG. The Lakers recently signed an extension to their lease at Staples Center through 2041. The second relates to a possible future sale. Anschutz’s shares in the team granted him the right of first refusal in the event that the Buss family’s majority stake in the team was ever sold. In other words, it made him the likeliest future owner of the team if the Buss family ever made the unlikely decision to sell, but it is unclear at this time if that right of first refusal has transferred to Walter and Boehly. 

Anschutz still owns the Los Angeles Kings, who play at Staples, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. AEG CEO Dan Beckerman told Sportico that the deal “is part of some financial planning and redeployment of capital to other AEG projects and growth initiatives.” He added that the goal is “expanding business lines and geography,” without elaborating further. 

The deal is unlikely to have a significant impact on the Lakers’ short-term operations, but depending on the price that Walter and Boehly paid, could provide a clearer picture of what the Lakers would be worth if they were ever sold. The Los Angeles Times reports that the deal valued the Lakers at roughly $5 billion, putting the 27 percent stake Walter and Boehly just bought at roughly $1.35 billion. 

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