April 16, 2024

David Rubenstein unanimously approved as new Orioles owner

Major League Baseball’s house owners have unanimously approved private-equity billionaire David Rubenstein as the new owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

The accelerated sale, which can ultimately give Rubenstein and his possession group 70% of the Orioles, transferred management of the crew to him lower than two months after he agreed to purchase it from the Angelos household.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I thank the Angelos family for their many years of service to the game and the communities of Baltimore,” stated Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. in an announcement. “Peter Angelos loved Baseball, loved Baltimore and was an important part of MLB for more than three decades.

“I congratulate David Rubenstein on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new management individual of the Orioles. As a Baltimore native and a lifelong fan of the crew, David is uniquely suited to steer the Orioles transferring ahead. We welcome David and his companions as the new stewards of the franchise.”

The $1.725 billion valuation for the Orioles is the third highest for the sale of a baseball team, behind Steve Cohen’s $2.4 billion deal for the New York Mets in 2020 and the $2.15 billion buy of the Los Angeles Dodgers by a bunch led by Mark Walter in 2012. Peter Angelos purchased the Orioles in 1993 for $173 million.

Rubenstein will oversee a team that won an American League-best 101 regular-season games last year and features arguably the best young core in baseball, with franchise-level players at catcher (Adley Rutschman) and shortstop (Gunnar Henderson), plus one other ready within the wings at Triple-A (second baseman Jackson Holliday). Though the Orioles enter the season with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball at $96.6 million, Rubenstein is expected to infuse the team with cash, either to bring in marquee free agents or lock up young players on long-term deals.

The 74-year-old brings with him not only a gaudy list of investors — including Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, CEO of the Ares Management investment firm Michael Arougheti, Basketball Hall of Famer Grant Hill, and former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke — but a deep connection to the team. He grew up in Baltimore and is a lifelong Orioles fan, and he told Bloomberg TV he sees the franchise as “an excellent funding alternative.”

In December, the Orioles signed a 30-year lease to remain at Camden Yards, which includes a provision allowing the team to develop land around the stadium. John Angelos, who took control of the team in 2020 because of the the failing health of his father, Peter, who died on Saturday, had sought to construct a mixed-use growth like The Battery round Atlanta’s Truist Park.

Rubenstein’s group will personal 40% of the Orioles for now with a plan to buy an extra 30% of the crew from the Angelos household sooner or later.