Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is close to a deal to invest in Major League Soccerís D.C. United, an agreement that would value the club at a league-record $500 million, according to reports.
This emerges as D.C Unitedís new soccer-only stadium is set to open and further highlights the development, growth and commercial potential in Major League Soccer.
The deal should be done by the end of the month and would make Soon-Shiong the biggest stakeholder in the storied MLS team. Levien, who would also increase his stake, will remain managing general partner and CEO. The pair may seek additional investors in the future.
In July, United will open Audi Field, the clubís new stadium and the centrepiece of a $350 million development project. According to Forbesís 2017 list of MLS franchise valuations, United is worth $230 million, 11th in the 20-team league.
This investment will a precedent for the value of the 22 other MLS teams, and given that Major League Soccer operates under a single-entity structure in which teams and player contracts are centrally owned by the league, all of the other MLS owners who own a share in the league and have the right to operate a team will see huge commercial opportunity.