David Rubenstein, a Baltimore, Maryland native and a co-founder of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, has completed his purchase of the Baltimore Orioles from the family of Peter Angelos, the club announced Wednesday. The sale price is $1.725 billion and gives Rubenstein a controlling stake in the team.
The Angelos family will remain a major investor in the club, and John Angelos, son of Peter, will serve as a senior advisor to Rubenstein.
“When I took on the role of Chair and CEO of the Orioles, we had the objective of restoring the franchise to elite status in major league sports, keeping the team in Baltimore for years to come, and revitalizing our partnership group,” John Angelos, son of Peter, said in a statement released by the team. “This relationship with David Rubenstein and his partners validates that we have not only met but exceeded our goals.”
Rubenstein posted his own statement to social media:
“I am grateful to the Angelos family for the opportunity to join the team I have been a fan of my entire life. I look forward to working with all the Orioles owners, players and staff to build upon the incredible success the team has achieved in recent seasons. Our collective goal will be to bring a World Series Trophy back to the City of Baltimore. To the fans I say: we do it for you and can’t do it without you. Thank you for your support.
“Importantly, the impact of the Orioles extends far beyond the baseball diamond. The opportunity for the team to catalyze development around Camden Yards and in downtown Baltimore will provide generations of fans with lifelong memories and create additional economic opportunities for our community.”
In addition to Rubenstein as the new lead owner, the Orioles’ revised ownership also includes franchise legend and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, among others.
The Orioles have been owned by Angelos since he purchased the team for $173 million in 1993. Peter’s health has failed him in recent years, resulting in his sons John and Louis taking control of the franchise. The club has since become entangled in seemingly nonstop rumors about its availability and its long-term home.
Indeed, a lawsuit involving John, Louis and Peter’s wife Georgia on competing sides was settled earlier this year. As part of that lawsuit, Louis alleged John had designs on relocating the franchise to Nashville, Tennessee.
Those relocation rumors also appeared to be dashed earlier this year, when the Orioles and Maryland Governor Wes Moore announced a new 30-year lease that was slated to keep the team at Camden Yards for the foreseeable future. Alas, that announcement appears to have been an overstatement.
Earlier this week, Andy Kostka of the Baltimore Banner reported “talks have been fraught in recent weeks as the team and state attempt to hash out a deal after announcing a non-binding memorandum of understanding in September.” As Kostka detailed, no lease was signed at the time. The Orioles have sought the ability to “create new revenue streams via development of state-owned buildings and land” in addition to the standard lease terms. The Orioles’ current lease expires on Dec. 31, providing some sense of urgency to the proceedings.
Forbes’ latest estimate has the Orioles franchise worth just over $1.7 billion, which is right in line with the announced sale price.