According to Billboard, some sources are saying that just three bidders remain in the running for the Anshutz Entertainment Group, which includes the AEG venue network, myriad sports interests and the AEG Live tour and festival business. A deal could be done as soon as late March say those insiders. Though the US trade mag admits that another source says no such shortlist as yet exists.
But if we believe it does, the original leakers said that those still in the running are Guggenheim Partners, a ColonyCapital/Qatar Sovereign Fund JV, and a consortium involving Goldman Sachs, Ron Burkle and Patrick Soon-Shiong, the bio-tech billionaire whose interest in AEG’s sporting assets was reported on pretty much as soon as Anshutz Inc put its entertainment business on the block last September.
As previously reported, AEG top dog Tim Leiweke recently told Billboard of the sale: “We’re getting down to the final straws here. The kind of people and companies interested are very good, and they share our vision for the future of the company. Now it’s just trying to get [owner] Mr [Phillip] Anschutz and [potential buyers] together on the right deal”. Leiweke wouldn’t comment on who was bidding.
While sources differ on whether the likes of Goldman Sachs, Burkle and Soon-Shiong have formed an alliance, Anschutz Inc did indicate at the start of the sale process that it was looking for a party to buy AEG as a going concern, and who would keep the venue/sports/entertainment group in tact. Most of the individual billionaires linked to a deal are primarily interested in the sporting side of the business, but a grouping of parties could widen those interests as well as increase the pot of money available.