Carlyle Group cofounder David Rubenstein is reportedly leading a group that is set to purchase the Baltimore Orioles, according to recent reports. The deal, valued at approximately $1.7 billion, will see Rubenstein take a 40% stake in the Major League Baseball franchise. The acquisition is still subject to approval by MLB.
Rubenstein, a renowned private equity investor and Baltimore native, has played a significant role in the growth of the private equity industry. As one of the cofounders of Carlyle Group, he has helped the firm manage assets worth around $380 billion. Private equity firms have increasingly invested in US sports leagues in recent years, with ties to a significant number of MLB and NBA teams.
Joining Rubenstein in the Orioles' takeover group are Ares Management CEO Michael Arougheti and former Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. Rubenstein is expected to become the team's main decision-maker as the designated "control person."
The Orioles have been owned by the Angelos family since 1993, with Peter Angelos leading the franchise until his illness in 2018. His son John has been running the team in his absence. The sale of the Orioles marks a significant change in ownership for the franchise.
This news follows recent reports of other high-profile investments in the sports industry. In May, Apollo Global Management cofounder Josh Harris acquired the Washington Commanders of the National Football League for over $6 billion, a record-breaking amount for a US sports franchise. Additionally, Marc Lasry, a cofounder of Avenue Capital Group, is part of a consortium planning to invest billions of dollars into the PGA Tour.
The acquisition of the Orioles by Rubenstein and his group highlights the continued interest of private equity firms in the world of sports. The deal will bring new leadership and potentially new strategies to the franchise, pending approval from MLB.