Golden Boy Promotions Loses Its Two Largest Shareholders

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    1386198478000-c03-v2-boxing-11-001Golden Boy Promotions has lost its two largest shareholders, Anschutz Entertainment Group (with approximately 20 percent stake in the Los Angeles-based company) and Gabriel Brener (with another 12 percent of the company held). The two investors have decided to sell their shares, which were the two biggest stakes right after Oscar De La Hoya himself.

    De La Hoya bought the shares from AEG and Brener in a deal that was closed out very recently.

    ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that a source with knowledge suggests that 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,” this an excerpt from Rafael’s story.

    Reportedly, AEG invested millions in 2008 and has seen little return on their investment, although the relationship between AEG and Golden Boy has prompted the ongoing dialogue necessary for sustaining cards at AEG venues.

    The Staples Center in Los Angeles and the StubHub Center in Carson are AEG venues and they have enjoyed Golden Boy’s presence at both, making up some of the most successful events in the history of each venue, respectably.

    AEG is confident that they can continue to host Golden Boy events and refrain from hindering their relationship.

    “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.”

    De La Hoya remains the largest shareholder in Golden Boy with an 87% share while Richard Schaefer — who was largely responsible for AEG’s involvement due to his close friendship with Beckerman — owns 8% in stock, and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins owns the last 5% in the company.

    You can interpret this in many ways, but ultimately there is no way of knowing what true motivations are out there. Some will say that Schaefer’s close relationship with Beckerman is responsible for the divesting, while others will point at Golden Boy’s future and use this as an indicator of where it’s headed, sort of a first rats off a sinking ship kind of thing.

    The truth is a company not making distribution to its shareholders is plenty reason for selling off shares.

    Golden Boy is trying to put up a strong front in the wake of this news. Golden Boy spokesman Stefan Friedman told ESPN in a statement:

    “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.”