Disney CEO Bob Iger and wife close to purchasing control of Angel City FC: Source


Disney CEO Bob Iger and his wife Willow Bay are close to purchasing control of Angel City FC, a person briefed on the matter confirmed to The Athletic.

Semafor first reported news of Iger and Bay’s interest in purchasing control of Angel City FC.

The current valuation of the club is estimated at $250 million, and Iger and Bay would invest more than $50 million to take control of ACFC from Alexis Ohanian, the team’s largest shareholder. Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and Serena Williams’ husband, does not control the board.

The club has three co-founding partners — Kara Nortman, Natalie Portman and Julie Uhrman — and dozens of smaller investors, including celebrities like Williams, Billie Jean King, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and former USWNT stars Mia Hamm, Shannon Boxx and Julie Foudy.

Angel City has high ambitions, and Uhrman, the team’s president, told The Athletic in January 2023 that the club envisioned itself as a billion-dollar club in a few years.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re going to be the first women’s team to have a billion-dollar valuation in five years,” Uhrman said. “There’s no better investment today than women’s sports.”

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GO DEEPER

How Angel City is raising the ceiling on NWSL revenue efforts

Angel City has hardly kept a low profile since it entered the league. An ownership group was awarded a team in 2020, with the team debuting in the NWSL in 2022. The team had a stellar first year as a commercial enterprise, drawing numerous partners and sponsorships, packed stadiums, thousands of season ticket holders and healthy merchandise sales.

Angel City FC plays its home matches at BMO Stadium, which is also the home of MLS club LAFC.

News of Iger’s potential purchase of Angel City follows sizable sales for the NWSL’s San Diego Wave and Seattle Reign FC this year. In March, the Wave sold at a $120 million valuation, a record-breaking price for an NWSL club. That valuation nearly doubled the NWSL’s previous record sale, as the Bhathal family bought the Portland Thorns for $63 million earlier this year.

Last month, the Reign’s sale to the Seattle Sounders FC ownership group and investment firm Carlyle for $58 million became official.

The sale price represented a significant return on investment for OL Groupe, which bought the Reign for $3.51 million in 2020 and intended to pair the team with its other major holding in the space, French women’s soccer powers Olympique Lyonnais Féminin. OL Groupe spun off most of its French women’s soccer operation in a separate sale last year to Michele Kang, owner of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit.

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(Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)



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