Anschutz to hold on to empire

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The Independent Online

The US billionaire Phil Anschutz has decided to hold on to Anschutz Entertainment Group after bids for the sports and entertainment empire failed to reach the hoped-for $8bn (£5bn) target price.

As part of the decision, Dan Beckerman will become president and chief executive officer of AEG, replacing Tim Leiweke, who has been at the helm since 1996 and is leaving the company.

AEG put the company up for sale on 19 September. It had been seeking at least $8bn for the business, whose assets include 120 owned or operated arenas around the world, including the O2 in London's Docklands, as well as the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team, a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, and a concert business.

Colony Capital and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, Guggenheim Partners and the Los Angeles biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong are believed to have made second-round bids in February, but the offers are understood to have been less than $7bn. The bidders and AEG were more than $1bn apart on price at that time, sources close to the deal told Reuters.