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Soon-Shiong, richest man in L.A., confirms interest in AEG

September 18, 2012|By Bill Shaikin | This post has been updated. See the note below for details
  • Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong says he's interested in acquiring AEG now that the company is on the selling block.
Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong says he's interested in acquiring… (Noah Graham / NBAE via Getty…)

The richest man in Los Angeles could buy the AEG sports and entertainment empire.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns a minority share of the Lakers and tried to buy part of the Dodgers, is exploring the purchase of  AEG.

[For the record, 8:15 a.m., Sept. 19: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Soon-Shiong's age as 59.]

The Dodgers were sold in spring for $2.15 billion, a world record for a sports franchise. The AEG assets could fetch more than double that price, depending in part on which properties AEG owner Philip Anschutz and AEG President Tim Leiweke ultimately decide to include in the sale. 

The AEG assets include ownership shares in the Lakers, Kings, Galaxy, Staples Center and L.A. Live, according to the sale announcement.

Soon-Shiong's interest was confirmed Tuesday night by his representative, Chuck Kenworthy.

Kenworthy declined additional comment but issued a statement on behalf of Soon-Shiong:

"Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is keenly aware that AEG is in play," the statement read. "We have the utmost respect for Phil [Anschutz] and Tim [Leiweke, AEG president and chief executive] and what they have accomplished in entertainment and sports and in revitalizing the downtown community.

"We clearly are interested in furthering this legacy for Los Angeles."

Soon-Shiong, 60, is a doctor, biotech investor and philanthropist. In 2010, he bought Magic Johnson's minority ownership share in the Lakers.

In March, Forbes estimated his net worth at $7.2 billion. It is unclear whether he would pursue all or part of AEG and unclear as well whether he would team with partners in the bidding.

Soon-Shiong teamed with East Coast hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen in an unsuccessful bid to buy the Dodgers. Johnson fronted the winning bid, submitted by Guggenheim Baseball Management.

ALSO:

Tweeters fear stadium deal will fail

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