David Rubenstein seeks to ‘build upon the incredible success’ of the Orioles in recent seasons

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

BALTIMORE — Baltimore native David Rubenstein said Wednesday he hoped to help “bring a World Series Trophy back to the City of Baltimore” by buying the Orioles and that his partnership group includes team icon Cal Ripken Jr., former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

The Angelos family — whose ailing patriarch, Peter Angelos, purchased the club in 1993 — will, at least initially, continue to hold an investment in the club, but Rubenstein will be the designated MLB “control person,” a source with direct knowledge of the agreement told The Baltimore Sun.

“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,” Rubenstein said in a news release. “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, 74, is the founder of the private equity firm Carlyle Group, a billionaire and a philanthropist. He is a 1966 alumnus of Baltimore City College.

The source said the ownership group is still in the process of being assembled. The source declined to be quoted because the sale has not yet been approved by Major League Baseball — a process that could take a few months.

But the release from Rubenstein identified members of the group so far, including Ripken, Bloomberg, Schmoke, former NBA star Grant Hill and investment firm CEO Mike Arougheti. Also on the list were Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith, co-heads of the Ares Credit Group, business leader Michele Kang and others.

“I am excited to once again be a part of the Orioles organization and I thank David for including me in the ownership group,” Ripken said in a statement. “The Orioles have been a part of my life since I was a child, and this is a special day. I look forward to this opportunity and will do whatever I can to help the organization. Let’s go O’s.”

Three sources told The Sun on Tuesday that Rubenstein has a signed agreement with the Angelos family to take over as the team’s principal owner in a deal valued at $1.725 billion. The Rubenstein group will initially assume a 40% ownership stake in the Orioles with an agreement to purchase the remaining equity upon the death of Peter Angelos, according to two of the sources. The money to acquire the 40% will come from Rubenstein and other members of the group.

Orioles Chairman and CEO John Angelos, Peter’s elder son, had for several years negotiated a lease with the state that included the goal of gaining development rights for the club to revitalize the area around Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The lease was approved in December, and the agreement to sell the club soon followed.

The development option would be transferred to the club under Rubenstein, who said in his statement that the team has the opportunity “to catalyze development around Camden Yards and in downtown Baltimore.”

Major League Baseball is still conducting due diligence and approval of the sale could take a couple of months, according to a source with knowledge of the process. That means the deal will not be finalized at next week’s owners meetings.

The release from a Rubenstein spokesperson on Wednesday quoted Angelos saying the sale agreement “validates that we have not only met but exceeded our goals.” Those goals, Angelos said in the release, included “restoring the franchise to elite status in major league sports, keeping the team in Baltimore for years to come, and revitalizing our partnership group.”

“We think this transaction is great for Major League Baseball and great for the City of Baltimore and Maryland,” Angelos said. “We are thankful to the fans and supporters cheering on the O’s as we reached this important goal — and who will be with us celebrating more success to come.”

Angelos will work with Rubenstein as a senior advisor, according to the release.

Angelos and his spokesperson did not return messages seeking further comment.