Billionaire Joe Mansueto has completed his full takeover of Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire for a total of $400m.
Mansueto initially bought a 49% stake in the club last summer, but Andrew Hauptman remained the majority shareholder.
However, Forbes have now confirmed that Mansueto has now purchased the remaining 51% of the club for $204m, taking the entire cost of his purchase up over the $400m mark.
Hauptmann paid $35m to buy the club back in 2007, and since then he has been incredibly active as an MLS official. He was part of committees which focused on league expansion and finances, and he insisted that he was proud of what he had built in Chicago.
He said: “I feel good about what’s been accomplished and the foundation that’s been built. he scale of our operations, along with strong management, a great local owner in Joe … and, importantly for me and my family, an ethos of giving to the community that’s become a core part of the Fire’s culture has set the stage for success as we move downtown.”
In preparation for Mansueto’s takeover, the Fire paid up to terminate their lease at the SeatGeek Stadium, and they are believed to be closing in on a deal to play their home games at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
“Our move to a historic stadium in the heart of downtown Chicago is a major moment for the club, MLS and the city,” Hauptman added.
“When it became apparent that Joe was interested in taking on a control position, it just felt like the timing was right to make this decision. Bottom line, all the pieces came together, and the moment felt right for me and for the Fire.”