Todd Boehly, Jennifer Mackesy in talks to buy Spirit as Kang raises offer

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An ownership group formed by Jennifer Tepper Mackesy and Todd Boehly has entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase a controlling interest in the Washington Spirit even as Y. Michele Kang has upped her offer to buy the club for $35 million, according to The Athletic.

Kang’s offer marks the largest-ever offer for an NWSL club.

It’s the latest in the ownership saga surrounding the Washington Spirit. Just last week, it was reported that Boehly had ended his initial talks with the Spirit about becoming primary owner. Boehly had reportedly submitted a letter of intent to purchase the club for $16 million.

Originally, Baldwin had offered to sell the Spirit to Kang, a current minority owner according to October reports. He later rescinded that offer as the two continued to fight over control of the team. Spirit players subsequently went public with an open letter to Baldwin that demanded he sell the team to Kang.

The latest offer from Kang was reportedly sent in a letter to Spirit co-owners Steve Baldwin and Bill Lynch and forwarded to the NWSL’s legal counsel Bill Ordower. Kang also sent a separate letter to stakeholders across the league, stating that she had asked Baldwin for a response by Wednesday at 5 p.m. and that she is willing to close on a sale before January 1st.

“I believe this is the highest offer,” Kang said in the letter, “and is well above market given past sale prices to say the least. It is based on my strong commitment to the team and the NWSL as a whole, and will be accompanied by additional investment into the club’s infrastructure.”

Earlier reports had said that Kang originally offered $21 million for the club, making the new number a significant increase.

However, negotiations appear to be heading once again in Boehly’s direction. Sources indicated to The Athletic that Boehly had at one point been in communication with Kang and had considered involving her in any potential purchase. This includes an in-person meeting between the two in November with Spirit players being notified of Boehly’s intentions to involve Kang. However, Tuesday’s announcement of the negotiations appeared not to involve Kang.

The new ownership group includes Mackesy, who is a former collegiate soccer player at William & Mary and who currently sits on the board of U.S. Squash. If the sale is approved, Mackesy would serve as the team’s representative on the NWSL board of governors. The duo are said to be looking to keep the Spirit in Washington D.C.