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L.A. billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong may be possible AEG bidder

September 18, 2012|By Sam Farmer, Walter Hamilton and Ricardo Lopez
  • As the parent company of AEG announced it would put the sports and entertainment giant up for sale Tuesday, speculation mounted that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong would be a possible bidder. Above, Soon-Shiong, a former UCLA surgeon, in 2005.
As the parent company of AEG announced it would put the sports and entertainment… (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

AEG had barely put itself up for sale Tuesday evening when speculation began to mount that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong may be in the running to buy all or part of the entertainment giant, according to a person familiar with the situation unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The Anschutz Co., run by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, said it is seeking a buyer for its AEG subsidiary, which has stakes in the L.A. Live entertainment venue in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team and the Los Angeles Galaxy pro soccer team.

The person told The Times that Soon-Shiong has already met with Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. 

Soon-Shiong, who made a failed bid for the L.A. Dodgers this year, already owns a minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers.

Raised in South Africa, Soon-Shiong is a doctor, biotech investor and philanthropist. He founded Abraxis BioScience Inc., a drug developer that he later sold. Forbes listed his net worth at $7 billion last year, making Soon-Shiong the richest man in Los Angeles.

If a deal for AEG goes through, it would mark the second blockbuster sports transaction in Southern California this year, following the $2.15-billion purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team by Guggenheim Baseball Management. That was a world-record price for a sports franchise.

ALSO:

Owner of Staples Center, Kings up for sale

L.A. mayor knew of AEG sale for "for some time"

L.A. officials react to news of AEG being put up for sale

sam.farmer@latimes.com

ricardo.lopez2@latimes.com

walter.hamilton@latimes.com

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