City College High School graduate David Rubenstein has reached an agreement to purchase the Baltimore Orioles for $1.725 billion, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday night.
Rubenstein’s bid to buy the team was initially reported by Bloomberg in early December, but that news was subsequently dismissed by O’s chairman John Angelos. Angelos’ father, Peter, who has been in failing health for several years, bought the Orioles along with a group of investors for $173 million in 1993.
Now, a month after signing a long-term Camden Yards lease, the Angelos family has agreed to sell the O’s to Rubenstein, a Baltimore-born billionaire and prominent philanthropist. The team and Rubenstein officially confirmed the deal Wednesday afternoon.
Thanks @afkostka. Here's my full statement:
“I am grateful to the Angelos family for the opportunity to join the team I have been a fan of my entire life. I look forward to working with all the Orioles owners, players and staff to build upon the incredible success the team has… https://t.co/zYWo8dG1eM — David M. Rubenstein (@DM_Rubenstein) January 31, 2024
A co-founder of the private equity Carlyle Group, Rubenstein has partnered with Mike Arougheti, a co-founder of the Ares Management Corporation, to buy the club, as first reported by Puck News. In a deal subject to the approval of Major League Baseball, Rubenstein and Arougheti will buy 40 percent of the team immediately, and then the rest of the Angelos family ownership stake after the death of the senior Angelos, who is 94 years old. The deal is expected to be discussed in Orlando at next week’s owners’ meetings, on the cusp of spring training.
Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will be a part of Rubenstein’s ownership team, according to the Baltimore Banner.
Rubenstein, whose net worth is estimated at roughly $4 billion, previously sought to buy the Washington Nationals. The 74-year-old currently resides in Bethesda, but grew up in a Jewish enclave of northwest Baltimore. His father worked for the U.S. Postal Service and his mother was a homemaker. He attended Duke University and then the University of Chicago Law School.
In 2010, Rubenstein became an original signer of the “Giving Pledge,” committing to donate the majority of his wealth in his lifetime or in his will. Among other efforts, he donated $13.5 million to the National Archives, $10 million to the National Gallery of Art, and $10.5 million to repair and improve the Washington Monument in D.C.—all related to his long interest in “patriotic” philanthropic causes.
The Orioles fan base enthusiastically embraced the news as soon as it broke on social media.
The birds won 101 games last season and brought the American League East title to back to Baltimore for the first time since 2014. However, the team’s failure to sign a top free-agent starting pitcher this off-season has disappointed some of Birdland fan base. There has been hope among O’s fans that a sale to the deep-pocketed Rubenstein could spur attempts to land top talent—as well as potentially sign young Orioles stars like Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman to long-term deals.
There is another reason to be excited about the O’s future—the team’s minor league system remains the top ranked in baseball.