UPDATE: AEG’s CEO Tim Leiweke indicates a sale is definitely in the works, saying: ”The new owner will have the historic opportunity to benefit from AEG’s strategy to reunite Los Angeles with the NFL, as AEG moves forward with its efforts to bring an NFL franchise to Farmers Field to be built at L.A. LIVE.” In a statement, the company said: ”The Anschutz Company will undertake the sale to the qualified party best able to reflect the full value of AEG and fully committed to working with AEG’s management team as it pursues its long-term business objectives,” the company said Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal has just reported that billionaire Phil Anschutz is looking to sell AEG, owner of Staples Center and LA Live — a move that could call the Farmers Field/Convention Center deal in LA into question.
Reporters Ethan Smith and Anupreeta Das quoted sources “familiar with the matter” said as saying “he deliberations remain early, and closely held Anschutz may not ultimately pursue a sale, which the people said could be worth several billion dollars.”
AEG owns Barclays Center in New York, Los Angeles Kings, Coachella music festival, O2 arena in London and AEG Live, world’s No. 2 concert promoter.
Astonishingly, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa admits in a statement just released that he has known about the potential sale of AEG “for some time” and takes the word of Anschutz and CEO Leiweke that it will have no affect on the Farmers Field/Convention Center deal, its operations or the return of the NFL to LA.
Here’s his full statement:
“I have worked with both Philip Anschutz and Tim Leiweke for years to bring a football team to Los Angeles. I speak to both of them on a regular basis and I have known about this potential sale for some time. I have the commitment from both of them that this sale will not affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future and will not affect my support for moving ahead with Farmers Field and the Convention Center site.”