AEG Chairman Philip Anschutz Abandons Plans to Sell Company

Philip Anschutz will resume a more active role after terminating potential sale

Philip Anschutz, the billionaire who controls Anschutz Entertainment Group, has canceled plans to sell the company, which includes such properties as the Los Angeles Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and London's O2 arena.

Anschutz said Thursday that the proposed sale, news of which broke in September, was put on ice because an acceptable buyer and offer had not been found.

Also read: Anschutz Considers Sale of L.A. Kings, Staples Center Owner AEG

“From the very beginning of the sales process, we have made it clear to our employees and partners throughout the world that unless the right buyer came forward with a transaction on acceptable terms we would not sell the company,” Anschutz said in a news release.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the sale of the company could have brought in as much as $7 billion.

Also read: AEG Enters Competition With Live Nation Ticketmaster

In his statement, Anschutz said: “From the very first days of AEG, my vision has been to tie together world class real estate development structured around entertainment venues with premium sports and live entertainment content. In recent years we have developed related businesses to further promote and enhance the performance of AEG’s facilities for the benefit of our partners, including our sponsors, artists, consumers and the communities in which we operate."

AEG chairman Anschutz will resume a more active role in the company following the termination of the potential sale, with his The Anschutz Company retaining ownership of AEG.

The company also said Thursday that Tim Leiweke, who had served as the company's president and CEO since 1996, will leave AEG "by mutual agreement." He is being replaced by Dan Beckerman, a 15-year veteran of the company who previously served as it chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

News of the possible sale last year came as AEG seeks approval to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles, in hopes of attracting an NFL team.

In AEG's release Thursday, Beckerman said that the stadium is still among the projects that the company is hotly pursuing.

"Priority projects going forward include the development of Farmers Field adjacent to our L.A. Live campus and the pursuit of our plan to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles," Beckerman said. 

AEG is also collaborating with MGM to build a new arena in Las Vegas, among other projects.