The NBA board of governors has unanimously approved Todd Boehly and Mark Walter’s investment in the Los Angeles Lakers, a 27% stake previously owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, according to a person familiar with the vote.
Sportico first reported on the deal last month. It values the franchise at roughly $5 billion.
The transaction will likely close next week, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the matter is private. A representative for the NBA declined to comment.
Anschutz’s stake included the right of first refusal on any other Lakers shares which may come to market. Those rights will transfer to Boehly and Walter, according to people familiar with the deal, putting the two investors in position to control the team should the Buss family ever decide to sell.
Anschutz, 81, is founder of entertainment giant AEG. The Lakers stake was a personal investment and separate from AEG’s other sports holdings, which include the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy and the Staples Center, where the Lakers play.
Boehly and Walter are both co-owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the move stands to strengthen the business relationship between the two franchises. Walter is CEO of Guggenheim Partners; Boehly is co-founder and chairman of Eldridge Industries, an investment firm with interests in DraftKings, Epic Games and Cloud9.
The Lakers were valued at $5.14 billion in Sportico’s most recent valuations, the third-highest total in the NBA behind the Knicks ($5.42 billion) and Warriors ($5.21 billion).