Are the Los Angeles Kings for sale?
The NY Post reported on Wednesday that Phillip Anschutz and AEG were putting the team on the sale block, citing multiple sources that indicated the Kings had been for sale for years and that “Morgan Stanley is readying potential suitors.”
Billionaire Anschutz, 74, ran an auction in 2012 to sell all of AEG for $10 billion, but suspended it after he could not find a buyer willing to come close to the asking price.
Selling just the sports franchises would smack of good timing. They have seen their value spike after former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the LA Clippers. Forbes had valued the team at $575 million just months earlier to that purchase. The Kings are said to be worth about $550 million.
So are the Los Angeles Kings for sale?
AEG president and CEO Dan Beckerman called the report “appalling” in denying the whole thing to FORTUNE on Friday:
“It’s a complete fabrication from some unnamed sources trying to create chaos and mischief,” Beckerman says. He adds: “There are no plans to sell [the Kings] now, or at anytime.”
With regard to the timing of the Post’s report coming out as the Kings kicked off their series with the Rangers, Beckerman said: “It’s probably someone who is trying to create a distraction or a diversion at this opportunistic time. But, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s completely fiction … You have to sort of consider the source, where this came from.”
Throwin’ shade at the New York Post!
In fairness to the Post, it’s multiple sources and the paper did include a denial from AEG in its own reporting.