Angelos family agrees to sell control stake in O's to David Rubenstein

January 31st, 2024

BALTIMORE -- For the first time in 31 years, the Orioles are on the verge of being sold.

An agreement is in place for the Angelos family to sell the Orioles to a group led by private equity billionaire David Rubenstein for $1.725 billion, as announced in releases sent by the team and Rubenstein’s camp on Wednesday. The news was first reported by John Ourand of Puck News on Tuesday night.

“I am grateful to the Angelos family for the opportunity to join the team I have been a fan of my entire life,” Rubenstein, a Baltimore native, said in a statement. “I look forward to working with all the Orioles owners, players and staff to build upon the incredible success the team has achieved in recent seasons. Our collective goal will be to bring a World Series Trophy back to the City of Baltimore. To the fans I say: we do it for you and can’t do it without you. Thank you for your support.”

Rubenstein would become the “control person” of the Orioles, a role that had been held by John Angelos since 2019. Angelos will become a senior advisor to the organization and the Angelos family will continue as a major investor.

“When I took on the role of Chair and CEO of the Orioles, we had the objective of restoring the franchise to elite status in major league sports, keeping the team in Baltimore for years to come, and revitalizing our partnership group,” Angelos said in a statement. “This relationship with David Rubenstein and his partners validates that we have not only met but exceeded our goals.”

Rubenstein’s ownership group also includes: Michael Arougheti, co-founder and CEO of Ares Management; Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr.; Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith, co-heads of the Ares Credit Group; former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke; NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill; entrepreneur/philanthropist Mike Bloomberg; business leader Michele Kang; and other investors.

Angelos previously took control of the Orioles from his father, Peter, who purchased the club for $173 million in October 1993.

The group led by Rubenstein and Arougheti would reportedly start by taking about 40 percent ownership of the Orioles, then would buy the remainder of the Angelos family’s stake in the team following the death of Peter Angelos, who is 94 years old.

There’s not currently a timetable for a sale to close, according to the reports. It will need to go through MLB’s Ownership Committee and then be approved by a full vote of MLB ownership.

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is owned by the Angelos family, would also be included in the deal, per reports.

Rubenstein would be taking control of the Orioles at an exciting time for the franchise. In 2023, Baltimore went 101-61, making the postseason for the first time since ‘16 and capturing its first American League East title since ‘14.

The Orioles have completed a rebuild under general manager Mike Elias and have a strong core of young players featuring catcher Adley Rutschman, infielder Gunnar Henderson and more. The club also has one of the top farm systems in baseball, headlined by shortstop Jackson Holliday, MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect.

When the lease was finalized in December, it was set so the deal would stay in place if ownership of the club was transferred.