Los Angeles Business Journal

Report: Soon-Shiong, Guggenheim Linked in AEG Bid

By Deborah Crowe Originally published September 24, 2012 at 3:01 p.m., updated September 24, 2012 at 3:09 p.m.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong reportedly is assembling an investor group to make a bid for Anschutz Entertainment Group, with a news service saying that one of the Los Angeles billionaire’s partners is the Chicago private-equity firm that recently bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Three sources told Reuters that Soon-Shiong is working with Guggenheim Partners and is looking to bring in additional partners. Spokespeople for Soon-Shiong, Guggenheim and AEG declined comment.

AEG’s parent, Denver-based Anschutz Co., confirmed last week that it was shopping the L.A. sports and entertainment giant, which has a portfolio that includes the L.A. Live downtown entertainment complex, concert promoter AEG Live and the Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer team.

Soon-Shiong, an avid L.A. Lakers fan who made his fortune building and selling two biotech companies, was part of a group that had hoped to buy the Dodgers this year. He lost out to Guggenheim’s group, whose most famous member is former L.A. Lakers star Magic Johnson. They paid roughly $2 billion for the team.

Soon-Shiong, who the Business Journal estimated in May has a net worth of about $8 billion, is believed to have a 5 percent stake in the Lakers he bought from Johnson. AEG also owns a small stake in the basketball team.

Separately on Monday, a special committee of the Los Angeles City Council approved a package of agreements that will move along AEG’s efforts to build a $1.5 billion downtown stadium to attract a National Football League team. The agreements, which include the project’s controversial environmental impact report, are expected to go to the full Council for a final vote on Friday.

AEG President Tim Leiweke told the Council committee that he and his management team have signed new “long-term contracts” to stay with AEG even under new ownership.