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Todd Boehly reportedly pulls out of Washington Spirit bid

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Todd Boehly has withdrawn from negotiations to purchase a controlling interest in the Washington Spirit, according to The Athletic.

Boehly was a part of a group of investors, including Jennifer Mackesy and The St. James, that was looking to buy the 2021 NWSL champion club. It was previously reported that current majority owner Steve Baldwin was in “exclusive negotiations” with the group despite threats of legal action by other minority owners.

On Wednesday, The Athletic reported that Boehly and the group had “underestimated the complexity of the situation” when it came to the sale.

The news follows a previous report in The Athletic that current Spirit co-owner Michele Kang had wrested majority control of the team. According to the report, Kang convinced eight of the Spirit’s debt-holders to convert their debt to equity, giving them the right to vote on the club’s governance issues. Devin Talbott, the largest of the debt-holders, reportedly sold his stake to Kang, leaving her as the club’s majority investor.

A letter from Kang to the NWSL’s Board of Governors, obtained by the Washington Post, indicated that Baldwin “no longer has control of the team or the ability to dictate the terms of any sale.”

Kang also said she would uphold her $35 million offer to purchase the Spirit “for a reasonable time.”

As of Tuesday, the NWSL had not yet approved elements of Kang’s move to gain control. The Board of Governors would have to sign off on the new investors, the conversion of debt to equity and the subsequent transfers of equity.