UPDATE (3-14-13): It was announced today by The Anschutz Company that AEG is no longer for sale and that Tim Leiweke, a huge Kings supporter, will be leaving the company.
Tim Leiweke, who has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of AEG since 1996, will be leaving the Company by mutual agreement. “We appreciate the role Tim has played in the development of AEG, and thank him for the many contributions he has made to the Company. We wish him well in his new endeavors,” said Mr. Anschutz.
Read the full story here…
And here is my story about the sale of AEG from last week…
The Future of LA Kings Ownership is Getting Cloudy
By Paul Armbruster • KingsNewsDaily.com •
The success of Staples Center, LA Live, multiple sports teams and championships (including the Kings first Stanley Cup), coupled with many other investing achievements outside of Los Angeles is what presumably motivated Owner Philip Anschutz to put his AEG empire up for sale over the summer.
Amid reports of further expansion, including an NFL stadium in downtown LA and arenas in Sacramento and Las Vegas, the Anschutz Entertainment Group – a subsidiary of the Anshutz Corporation who own the Los Angeles Kings – seemed destined to be sold to the highest bidder with relative ease. But will it? Or is the sale of AEG going to be much more difficult than first thought?
In a story by Billboard.com from January, AEG CEO Tim Leiweke said the process is “taking longer because more people were interested than we ever imagined, so there has been a lot of time and energy spent with a lot of different people looking at the company.”
But according to this story from Reuters, bidders are now down to just 3 interested parties and negotiations over the value of the empire continue, “bidders and AEG are about $1 billion apart on price,” according to their source. The story goes on to say such a large gap in price isn’t uncommon for companies that own difficult-to-value sports teams.
But could it also have to do with what bidders may perceive as barriers to the potential future growth of AEG?
In a story from Yahoo Sports 2 days ago, it was reported the highly touted future downtown NFL stadium project, which received overwhelming political support in Los Angeles, is dead because of numerous problems, “but the most essential one is the economics,” says Yahoo.
“I think there are many major, if not fatal, flaws in the AEG plan and it’s surprising the Los Angeles political leadership has not picked up on it from the NFL,” said Marc Ganis, president of Sports Corp and a man who served as an adviser to both the Rams and the Raiders when those teams relocated from Los Angeles.
Additionally, bidders for AEG have met independently with the NFL to discuss ways to revive the project and Leiweke himself is said to be open to changing the plan.
Adding to the NFL stadium problem is yet another story that may further complicate the sale of AEG. It was reported today that the dispute between deceased superstar Michael Jackson’s family and AEG will go to trial next month by order of a US judge.
According to the claim, Jackson’s family says AEG was instrumental in the hiring and supervision of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Jackson. The mega-famous singer’s family is suing the LA Kings owners for an estimated 8 billion dollars. Bids for AEG are estimated at being under 7 billion.
According to the BBC report, the Jackson’s will present an email from the co-chief executive of AEG, which says:
“We want to remind [Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him.”
The ominous story went on to say:
The Jacksons’ lawyer Kevin Boyle told CNN: “The truth about what happened to Michael, which AEG has tried to keep hidden from the public since the day Michael died, is finally emerging. We look forward to the trial where the rest of the story will come to light.”
What say you Kings fans? Do these developments give you cause for concern about the future of the organization considering past problems with ownership? Having finally won the Cup and seeing the Club rebuild itself into a potential perennial contender, are you worried that the gains made over the past six years under the Lombardi regime are in danger of being undone?