D.C. United majority owner Erick Thohir agreed to sell his 78 percent majority stake in the club to minority owner Jason Levien, according to an article in the Washington Post today.
Levien reportedly started assembling an investment team headlined by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, who recently purchased the Los Angeles Times and owns a small portion of the Los Angeles Lakers. The agreement would value D.C. United at $500 million, according to Bloomberg. The deal could be done as soon as the end of this month.
The news comes just three months ahead of the opening of United’s new $350 million stadium, Audi Field. The southwest D.C. stadium will likely raise the team’s valuation, which was placed at $230 million by Forbes last August. That valuation ranked 11th among the the 20 MLS teams active in 2016. The league has since expanded to 23 teams.
Levien, who has been a general partner since 2012, will remain a large part of the club. Unlike Thohir, Levien regularly visits the team and makes appearances at major club events, such as the groundbreaking ceremony for Audi Field.
The club provided this statement on the reported sale:
“As we march toward the completion of Audi Field and providing what will be the most exciting experience in Major League Soccer, D.C. United have been evaluating different strategic opportunities to add to our ownership.”
Per club policy, United will not make any specific comments on potential investments.