David M. Rubenstein has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles from the Angelos family, in a deal that values the franchise at $1.725bn (£1.36bn/€1.59bn).
The Angelos family will continue to hold a “sizable” investment in the Orioles, and John Angelos will serve as a senior advisor to the team. Angelos assumed control of the Orioles from his father, Peter, who purchased the team in October 1993 for $173m.
Rubenstein, a Baltimore native, is co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group and will become controlling owner of the Orioles upon the close of the transaction. The deal is subject to review and approval by MLB’s ownership committee and a full vote of MLB ownership.
The investment group also includes Michael Arougheti, co-founder and chief executive of Ares Management, and Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith, co-heads of the Ares Credit Group. Other investors include Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr, former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, NBA hall of famer Grant Hill, entrepreneur Mike Bloomberg, and business leader Michele Kang.
Angelos said: “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 revitalising our partnership group. This relationship with David Rubenstein and his partners validates that we have not only met but exceeded our goals.”
Rubenstein added: “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.”
The agreement has been struck after the Orioles in December finalised a partnership with the State of Maryland, Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland Stadium Authority to continue playing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for 30 more years.
The Orioles have played at Camden Yards since 1992 and the team’s previous lease deal had been due to expire on December 31. The new deal includes an option to pursue development rights at the Camden Yards complex.
In February last year, the Orioles and Governor Moore announced a joint commitment to develop and revitalise the Camden Yards complex, which houses the ballpark as well as M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are also planning a $430m redevelopment of M&T Bank Stadium.
Addressing potential stadium developments for the Orioles, Rubenstein said: “Importantly, the impact of the Orioles extends far beyond the baseball diamond. The opportunity for the team to catalyse development around Camden Yards and in downtown Baltimore will provide generations of fans with lifelong memories and create additional economic opportunities for our community.”
Last year saw the Orioles reach the postseason for the first time since 2016, with the team claiming the American League East title for the first time since 2014. The Orioles last won the World Series in 1983.