British multinational chemicals company Ineos Group Ltd. has made a formal 4.25 billion pounds ($5.54 billion) bid for world soccer club champion Chelsea FC.
Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, bought the club in 2003. He was forced to relinquish ownership after the British government sanctioned him and six other oligarchs in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.
"We are making this investment as fans of the beautiful game — not as a means to turn a profit. We do that with our core businesses. The club is rooted in its community and its fans," Ineos said in an April 28 statement on its website.
However, as of April 28, L.A. Dodgers and L.A. Lakers owner Todd L. Boehly, a co-founder of business management company Eldridge of Greenwich, Conn., was the favorite to win the bidding war for Chelsea, according to British news media.
Early on, the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, have expressed an interest in Chelsea, but both later bowed out of the bidding.
Ineos is a major sponsor of professional sports teams in fields including F1, cycling, sailing, soccer and rugby union. In 2021, Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League, Europe's most important club competition, and the FIFA Club World Cup.