BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (September 6, 2007) - Andell Holdings, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm with global business and investment interests controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hauptman, announced today the closing of the transaction for Andell to acquire AEG's interests in Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire. The purchase price was not disclosed.
"As a longtime soccer fan, I am so excited about our purchase of the Chicago Fire. Everyone at Andell, especially my wife Ellen and I, shares the Fire's commitment to tradition, honor, and passion. We're fully dedicated to working with the team, its fans and the Chicago community to build a championship franchise," commented Andell Chairman and CEO Hauptman. "Tim Leiweke and his team at AEG, Commissioner Don Garber and everyone at Major League Soccer, and Bridgeview Mayor Landek have been tremendously supportive of our ownership plans, and we're greatly appreciative of their cooperation and collaboration to successfully complete this transaction."
"I also want to thank the entire Chicago Fire organization, under the leadership of John Guppy, for their hard work and dedication. We're excited to work with the team and the Chicago community to take the franchise to the next level," Hauptman added. "But most importantly, I'd like to thank the Chicago Fire fans for consistently lending their support and enthusiasm, as well as demonstrating their passion for the players and the team at every single game."
"Selling the Chicago Fire was a very difficult decision for AEG," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO, AEG. "The team, its fans and the Chicago community have been a special part of Major League Soccer and AEG. Ultimately, the reason we agreed to sell the Fire was to reduce the number of teams operated by our organization. We believe that bringing in a new partner like Andrew and Andell will help the league and the sport continue to grow and become more successful."
"We are extremely grateful to all of the fans, Mayor Landek, the City of Bridgeview and in particular, John Guppy and his staff and all of the players for their commitment to the Chicago fans and Major League Soccer," Leiweke added. "We will continue to be a part of MLS through our ownership of the Los Angeles and Houston teams and wish our friends at Andell 'the best of luck and welcome to Major League Soccer.'"
"We proudly welcome Andrew Hauptman and Andell into the MLS ownership group. I am confident that they will be dedicated and innovative leaders of the Chicago Fire organization," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "As our group of owners continues to grow and diversify, Andell's investment further illustrates the strength of our business and the bright future that lies ahead."
Village of Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek noted: "We are very excited to have Andrew Hauptman and Andell as the new owner of the Chicago Fire. Over the last several weeks I've had the pleasure of sitting down with the Andell team several times and I believe they will bring a new level of focus, excitement and winning spirit to the Fire and Toyota Park."
Chicago Fire Soccer was founded on October 8, 1997 as a Major League Soccer expansion team. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and was crowned the champion of U.S. Soccer's national tournament, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. In June 2006, the Fire moved into its 20,000-seat, world-class home of TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview, Ill. The multipurpose sport and entertainment venue is located approximately 15 minutes southwest of Chicago at the corner of 71st and Harlem.
About Andell Holdings
Andell Holdings (www.andellinc.com) is a Los Angeles-based private investment firm and family office with global business and investment interests. Founded in 1998, Andell's current activities are divided between investments in private companies, core holdings in publicly traded companies, and partnerships with best-in-class investment managers. The firm acquires and builds ownership stakes in established, well-managed, profitable businesses with solid market positions and strong growth potential. Andell focuses its direct investments in the following industries: Consumer Products and Services, Sports Related Businesses, Health/Wellness, and Media and Entertainment.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, NOKIA Theatre Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie, Hollywood's El Rey Theatre, Seattle's WaMu Theatre, Minneapolis' Target Center and the just opened The O2, a 28-acre development located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River which includes a 20,000 seat arena and over 650,000sf of leisure and entertainment use; sports franchises throughout the world including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL), the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo (MLS) in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA). AEG developed and operates The Home Depot Center, a $150 million national training facility on the Campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California designated as an "Official U.S. Olympic Training Site" by the United States Olympic Committee that includes major facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, action sports, beach volleyball, basketball and other sports. AEG's live entertainment division, AEG LIVE is one of the world's leading concert promotion and touring companies.
AEG is overseeing the development of L.A. LIVE, a 4 million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential & entertainment district featuring NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat state-of-the-art live theatre, a 54-story, 1001-room convention center "headquarters" hotel, Club NOKIA at L.A. LIVE, a 2,200 capacity live music venue, a 14-screen Regal Cineplex, "broadcast" facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant, residential and office space and additional arenas, O2 World, on a 45-acre site in the heart of Berlin, Citizen's Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri and in Las Vegas, Nevada.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and features many stars from the United States and around the world. The League's 12th championship game, MLS Cup 2007, takes place Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C. The 13 teams in MLS are: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, Red Bull New York, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC. San Jose will begin play as the 14th team in 2008. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official web site at www.MLSnet.com.