Red Sox for sale? John Henry mulls taking Yankees’ rival public

This could be a game-changer in the American League East.

The Wall Street Journal reports John Henry “is in talks to join with an investment vehicle for an $8 billion deal that would take his famed sports holdings public, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The deal being discussed would merge Fenway Sports Group LLC, which also owns English soccer team Liverpool Football Club, with RedBall Acquisition Corp., the people said. RedBall is a so-called special purpose acquisition company launched by private-equity firm RedBird Capital Partners and Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane.

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According to the Journal, RedBall is looking “to purchase a stake that will total less than 25% in Fenway Sports Group. … The talks are in the early innings and could still fall apart. Fenway’s investors had a meeting recently to discuss the potential transaction, one of the people said.”

Front Office Sports reports the Red Sox are the crown jewel of Fenway Sports Group’s holdings:

– Boston Red Sox

– Fenway Park

– New England Sports Network

– Liverpool F.C.

– Salem Red Sox

– Roush Fenway Racing

– Fenway Sports Management

Henry bought the Red Sox in 2002, and has seen his club win four World Series titles since 2004. But Boston finished in last place in the American League East in 2020, in part because of the team’s decision to trade right fielder Mookie Betts and left-hander David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a salary dump.

However if Henry’s deal goes through, it could open the door for Boston to return to its big-spending ways and compete with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

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