D.C. United appears to be on the verge of a major ownership change, with Patrick Soon-Shiong reportedly nearing an agreement to invest in the club.
Under the terms that are being reported by Bloomberg, Soong-Shiong and current United managing general partner and CEO Jason Levien are working to purchase the ownership stake held by Erick Thohir. If the agreement does move forward, the billionaire Soon-Shiong would add United to a slate of investments that includes an ownership share of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and his recent $500-million purchase of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.
According to Bloomberg, the agreement would value United at an MLS-record $500 million. Soon-Shiong would serve as the club’s largest stakeholder, while Levien would remain in his role with the organization and could eventually take part in an effort to land additional investors. More from Bloomberg:
Levien, who also owns a piece of English Premier League team Swansea City, declined to comment. Soon-Shiong wasn’t available for immediate comment. In a statement, the team said it’s evaluating strategic ownership opportunities.
The deal should be done by the end of the month and would make Soon-Shiong the biggest stakeholder in the storied MLS team. Levien, who would also increase his stake, will remain managing general partner and CEO. The pair may seek additional investors in the future.
Part of the mix of clubs that have been in the league since its inaugural 1996 season, United has been an MLS stalwart, winning four MLS cups while remaining a steady draw over its long run at RFK Stadium. The club is going through some major transitions, however, as it is preparing to move into the brand-new Audi Field in Washington’s Buzzard Point neighborhood this summer. United has also been working on a proposed soccer complex in Loudoun County, VA that would include a stadium for a new United USL club.
Image courtesy D.C. United.