SBD/February 8, 2013/Finance

Groups Interested In AEG Due To Submit Offers Next Week, Though Bids Aren't Binding

Bidders for AEG are due to submit offers for the real estate and sports conglomerate next week, sources said, although any such bids would not be binding. AEG’s investment bank, Blackstone, will reply to the bidders with further information and then set a deadline for final and best offers, the sources said. Expected bidders are Guggenheim Partners; Colony Capital and an investment fund controlled by the government of Qatar; and Lakers investor Patrick Soon-Shiong. However, other companies remain in the mix as well, including Related Cos., the company founded and chaired by Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross. While some reports earlier this month said Soon-Shiong was bidding with Goldman Sachs, sources said Goldman is an adviser to Soon-Shiong, not a partner. A spokesperson for the Anschutz Co., the holding company that owns AEG, declined to comment. Anschutz Co. announced its intent to sell AEG in September. The number of interested bidders has been in flux. Blackstone is directing the bid process, and several early bidders have either dropped out or aligned with one another. Blackstone is believed to want at least $8B for AEG and wants to have the sale process wrapped up by the end of March. Sources consider that an aggressive timeline for such a complicated grouping of assets.
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