Orioles Reportedly Selling for $1.73B to Rubenstein, Arougheti

Private equity billionaires David Rubenstein and Mike Arougheti have reached an agreement to purchase the Baltimore Orioles from the Angelos family in a deal that values the MLB club at $1.725 billion, according to Puck.

Rubenstein, the co-founder of private equity giant Carlyle Group, and Arougheti, co-founder of Ares Management, will start by buying 40% of the Orioles, the report says. They will buy the remaining 60% following the death of 94-year-old Peter Angelos, who stepped away from the team years ago due to illness. That structure could help the family minimize the tax hit in the sale.

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Rubenstein, who is from Baltimore, will be the team’s control owner, Puck reported. MLB owners have not yet voted on the deal, and there is no timetable for it to close. John Angelos, Peter’s son, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Attempts to reach Rubenstein and Arougheti through their companies weren’t immediately successful.

The Orioles are owned by Angelos and his family. Angelos’ two sons, Lou and John (currently CEO of the team), are currently locked in a legal battle over the recent amendments to the family trust, a fight that has fueled speculation over the team’s future.

The Orioles are worth $1.6 billion, according to Sportico’s most recent valuations. That ranks 18th in the 30-team league. The club’s 2022 revenue of $264 million ranks 24th.

The Orioles won the AL East last season for just the second time in the past 26 years behind one of baseball’s youngest and most exciting rosters. Keeping that talent, which includes Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson and 25-year-old catcher Adley Rutschman, will grow significantly more expensive as they progress further into their careers. Spending on players, or lack thereof, has hounded John Angelos for much of the past few years as he’s overseen one of the sport’s lowest payrolls.

Last August, Angelos told The New York Times that the team was going to have to raise prices “dramatically,” which angered many fans.

Should the Orioles sell while Peter Angelos is still alive, it could cost the family hundreds of millions in capital-gains taxes, a number that would decrease if the team is sold after his death. That tax burden has been a critical part of the family’s thinking in talks with potential buyers.

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