Golden Boy Promotions president and co-founder Oscar De La Hoya has bought out the two largest shareholders in the company besides him, at their request.
In a deal recently completed, De La Hoya bought back Anschutz Entertainment Group's approximate 20 percent stake in the Los Angeles-based company and the approximate 12 percent of the company held by Gabriel Brener, a private investor and chairman and CEO of Brener International Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to a source with knowledge of the deal, AEG and Brener initiated the sale because they had seen no return on their investment as Golden Boy has never made a distribution to its shareholders. AEG, for example, invested millions beginning in 2008 and had little to show for the investment until it (and Brenner) turned a profit on the sale of their shares.
"We have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Golden Boy Promotions. Earlier this quarter, Golden Boy Promotions re-purchased AEG's equity interest in the company that was originally acquired in May of 2008," Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, told ESPN.com. "We wish Oscar De La Hoya all the best and we look forward to continuing to host Golden Boy Promotions events in our venues in the years to come."
Golden Boy has put on boxing cards regularly at AEG venues, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the StubHub Center, which is a few miles away in Carson, California. AEG even built a statue of De La Hoya in front of the Staples Center.
AEG's involvement in Golden Boy was largely due to the close relationship between Beckerman, a boxing fan, and former Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer, who resigned on June 2 after a falling out with De La Hoya. They are embroiled in a $50 million arbitration case De La Hoya brought against Schaefer, accusing him of, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty to the company.
While De La Hoya initially denied the transaction to ESPN.com, Golden Boy spokesman Stefan Friedman confirmed the deal to ESPN.com on Tuesday night.
"With Oscar back at the helm we no longer have to contend with petty, ego-driven feuds that have costs fans the best fights for years, fans who couldn't care less about the financial composition of the company," Friedman said. "Simply put Golden Boy Promotions is firmly established as the No. 1 promoter in all of boxing and is stronger than ever."
De La Hoya now controls approximately 87 percent of the company's stock. Schaefer is the second largest shareholder (approximately 8 percent) - at least for now -- with unified light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins holding the remaining approximate 5 percent.
AEG is one of the leading entertainment and sports companies in the world with ownership stakes in more than 100 arenas and stadiums around the globe, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles and The O2 Arena in London. Its other holdings include the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and two teams in Major League Soccer, the Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy.
A few months before AEG bought its stake in Golden Boy in 2008, De La Hoya and Brener each bought 25 percent interest in the Dynamo. Although AEG divested from Golden Boy, De La Hoya continues to hold his shares in the Dynamo.
Brener International Group is a Los Angeles-based private investment firm that focuses much of its investment strategy on U.S. Hispanic businesses.