Orioles Sold To 2 Billionaires, Cal Ripken Jr.: Reports

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Billionaire David Rubenstein plans to buy the Baltimore Orioles for $1.725 billion, reports said Tuesday. If the sale is approved, fellow billionaire Michael Arougheti and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. would be minority owners. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

Patch reporter Cailin Loesch wrote this story.

BALTIMORE, MD — Carlyle Group Inc. co-founder David Rubenstein has reached an agreement to buy the Baltimore Orioles for $1.725 billion, according to reports.

Rubenstein, a Baltimore native, would take over as the team's controlling owner, and he's assembled an investment team that includes Ares co-founder Michael Arougheti and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., a source told The Baltimore Banner.

The Angelos family has controlled the Orioles since 1993, when Peter Angelos purchased the team for $173 million. Angelos' son John is the team's current chairman.

Rubenstein has an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion while Arougheti's is estimated to be $1.8 billion, according to Forbes.

The Orioles recently reached a deal on a 30-year lease extension at Camden Yards, with an option to end it after 15 if the team does not receive approval from state officials for development plans next to the ballpark.

Before forming Carlyle in 1987, Rubenstein practiced law in Washington. From 1977-1981, he was a deputy assistant for domestic policy to President Jimmy Carter. After graduating from Duke in 1970, he attended the University of Chicago Law School.

The sale agreement, which requires approval from major league owners, was first reported by Puck.

Rubenstein is a lifelong baseball lover and has been telling his inner circle that he is going to buy the Orioles for some time, a source told The Baltimore Banner.

The Orioles are coming off a 101-win season and their first AL East title since 2014. With young stars like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson — and another top prospect on the way in Jackson Holliday — the future looks as bright as it has in a while for a team that hasn't won a World Series since 1983.

One sore spot with fans is the club's payroll, which has remained low, and it's been another quiet offseason for the team so far. If the new ownership group is able to keep Baltimore's young core together, the Orioles could have a lengthy window of contention.

When Peter Angelos first took control of the Orioles, they had recently started playing at Camden Yards, the downtown venue that revolutionized the way baseball parks were built. The Orioles spent aggressively, at least for a little while, and won the division in 1997 with future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr., Roberto Alomar, Mike Mussina and Harold Baines.

After that, Baltimore didn't make the postseason again until 2012, when the Orioles began a renaissance under then manager Buck Showalter. They eventually had to rebuild again, losing at least 108 games in 2018, 2019 and 2021 — a streak interrupted only by the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Court documents show that Angelos intended for the team to pass to his wife, Georgia, and for her to sell it upon his death so she "could enjoy the great wealth they had amassed together" but that "he left the decision up to Georgia," The Baltimore Banner reported.

A sale must be approved in a vote of at least 75% by the 30 major league teams. The sales approval process typically lasts several months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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