May 18 2014, 8:22am CDT | by Forbes
The sale of AEG never happened in part because while Anschutz was having back surgery he heard that AEG CEO Tim Leiweke was trying to influence who bought the company so that he could keep running it, rather than simply sell AEG to the buyer who would offer the best deal for Anschutz.
Leiweke departed AEG soon after Anschutz pulled AEG off the block and he now now runs Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns Toronto’s Maple Leafs and Raptors. Should Anschutz decide to sell AEG he would get considerably more than he was hoping for two years ago.
Why? Not only have sports teams valuations increased across the board, but the Kings in particular are much more valuable. The team is solidified itself the past few years as one of the best in hockey and are going to begin play in the Western Conference Finals this afternoon against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Each home playoff game generates about $2 million in profit for an NHL team from tickets and suite revenue. Plus, Anschutz controls the Staples Center, so he gets more from advertising and concessions for each playoff game. And anyone looking to buy AEG understands that the goodwill built up from this year’s Stanley Cup. The Kings could be worth more more than $550 million after this season.
Even the Los Angeles Lakers, who missed the NBA’s postseason this year, are up considerably in value the past two years. If Donald Sterling is forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers he will get at least $1 billion. If the Clippers are worth that much, the Lakers, which Anschutz owns 27%, have to be worth close to $2 billion.
Sometimes the best deals are the ones that never happen. Two years ago that was the case for Anschutz.
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