The billionaire businessman and Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is exploring a bid for the Los Angeles Angels, according to two people familiar with the matter. He has been a minority owner of the Los Angles Lakers since 2010 but would increase his prominence on the sports scene—locally and nationally—
Soon-Shiong, 70, has a net worth of $8.94 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He couldn’t be reached for comment. Galatioto Sports Partners, which has been retained by the MLB club, declined to comment.
This isn’t the first time Soon-Shiong has been interested in investing in a major pro sports team. He made an unsuccessful attempt to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers a decade ago. He was also reportedly part of an investor group that aimed to bring an NFL team back to Los Angeles before the Rams moved from St. Louis in 2016. Most recently, he was in talks to be a lead investor in MLS’s D.C. United but was unable to reach an agreement.
The Angels current owner, Arte Moreno and his family, announced last month that they are exploring a sale of the team after nearly 20 years. The Angels arrival on the market is particularly notable because they could sell for the highest price ever paid for an MLB club, surpassing the record $2.4 billion hedge fund manager Steve Cohen paid for the New York Mets two years ago. The Angels were valued at $2.5 billion in Sportico’s latest MLB valuations.
It’s expected to be a competitive process, especially with Soon-Shiong, one of the city’s richest men, potentially in the mix. Even though the Angels haven’t had a winning season since 2015, the team offers an established brand in a premier market, and those don’t become available often. The next owner of the AL West club may also consider buying the city-owned stadium and surrounding land, which Moreno agreed to do in 2020 before the city pulled out of the $320 million deal amid an FBI investigation.
The team also comes with two of the game’s marquee players in outfielder Mike Trout and pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani, who is set to be a free agent after the 2023 season.