Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross in an e-mail wrote he has “no interest at all in moving the Dolphins” to L.A., and his real estate firm Related Cos.' bid to acquire AEG is “strictly advancing our real estate, sports, entertainment and technology business,” according to Dave Hyde of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. RSE Ventures President & CEO Matt Higgins said that Ross formed the company “last year and bid on AEG,” and the entity “already has bought or created eight sports-related companies.” He also “reiterated the bid for AEG Facilities has nothing to do with the Dolphins threatening a move from South Florida if recently discussed public financing isn’t approved for stadium renovations.” Higgins said that the AEG bid is part of Ross’ "vision to build a sports real-estate and technology business.” Hyde notes Related Cos. already has a “large presence in real estate" in L.A. Hyde notes one of the companies bought by RSE Ventures, Leap Seats, "had its technology used at Dolphins games in December.” Relevant Sports, another of RSE Ventures' companies, is “organizing an international soccer event" at Sun Life Stadium that will be announced in the next month. Higgins said “five marquee matches” will be held at Sun Life this year (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/22).
SALE TAKING LONGER THAN EXPECTED: AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke said that the sale of the company “is ‘taking longer’ than expected … but not due to lack of interest.” Leiweke said, “We're gonna get there. Unfortunately, it's 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." BILLBOARD.biz' Ray Waddell noted a “diverse group of bidders have been reported as potential suitors for AEG with Blackstone Group directing the sale process” that some estimates say could “top out as high” as $8B. While Leiweke “declined to mention who the serious bidders were, he did indicate that the field has narrowed.” Leiweke: "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” (BILLBOARD.biz, 1/21).