SBD/Issue 238/Franchises

Andell Holdings Completes $35M Purchase of MLS Fire

Andell Holdings Nearing Close
Of $35M Purchase Of Fire
Andell Holdings, an L.A.-based private investment group, is expected to announce today the completion of its acquisition of MLS's Chicago Fire from AEG. The purchase, which sources put at $35M, has been approved by MLS BOG. "The team has a deep history and strong fan base for such a young team," Andell Chair & CEO Andrew Hauptman said when explaining the purchase during a telephone interview yesterday. "That was something we felt we could build upon." Hauptman will oversee the ownership of the team, bringing with him an extensive background in business, entertainment and sports. He sits on the BOD of Canyon Ranch Holdings and has produced several films, including Robert Redford's upcoming "Lions for Lambs." He also recently signed a deal to produce a Vince Lombardi biopic. His wife, Ellen Bronfman Hauptman, is the daughter of Charles Bronfman, who owned the Expos from '68-'90. Hauptman said he will leverage experience in all of those areas to benefit the Fire. "We view this as a long term investment and expect to provide it with all of the resources necessary for it to reach its potential," he said (Tripp Mickle, SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL).

FIRE SALE: In Chicago, Nick Firchau reports Hauptman “won’t be relocating to Chicago anytime soon,” but he will attend three of the Fire’s five games in September and "provide the hands-on ownership approach of a soccer fan finally at the helm of his own team.” Hauptman: “We’re not absentee landlords. We’re expecting to be active. We expect to be engaged."  Hauptman said, “We believe in soccer here in the United States. We’ve spent some time at Toyota Park, and we’ve seen some games, and the fans truly love their team. The opportunity to do this in one of the great sports cities in the country was very attractive for us.” He added, “We have to continue to create a great fan experience. The fans are there; it just has to be our vision to give them what they want”  (DAILY SOUTHTOWN, 9/6).

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