The Angels announced on Tuesday that owner Arte Moreno and his family are exploring a sale of the team. The franchise, which will retain Galatioto Sports Partners to manage the sale, was estimated to be worth $2.5 billion in Sportico’s latest MLB valuations, good for eighth in the league.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to own the Angels for 20 seasons,” Moreno said in a statement released by the club. “Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time. Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players and business partners.”
Moreno, who turned 76 on Aug. 14 and doesn’t have any of his three children in line to take over majority ownership, is letting the AL West team hit the market two years after billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets for a record $2.4 billion.
The Angels maintain a reputable brand in a premier sports market, despite not having had a winning season since 2015. They have two marquee players in outfielder Mike Trout and pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani, who will be a free agent after the 2023 season.
The announcement of the sale comes just a few months after Moreno’s $320 million agreement with the City of Anaheim to buy Angel Stadium and surrounding land fell through in the wake of an FBI corruption investigation involving Anaheim’s former mayor, Harry Sidhu. The allegations against Sidhu include giving the Angels confidential information during stadium sale negotiations.
Prospective buyers nonetheless will likely have to factor the 56-year-old stadium (fourth oldest in baseball) into a purchase of the team, whose lease with the facility runs through the end of 2029.
Moreno, who made a fortune in billboard advertising, became the first Mexican American to own a major sports team when he purchased the Angels from the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) for roughly $180 million in 2003, just months after the Angels won the 2002 World Series over the San Francisco Giants.
The Angels aren’t the only MLB team on the market. Mark Lerner and his family are looking to find a potential buyer for the Washington Nationals.
(This article has been updated in the headline, and throughout the story with reporting from Eric Jackson.)