OC’s Wealthiest 2023: Arte Moreno

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ARTE MORENO
OWNER
ANGELS BASEBALL LP

THE MONEY: Owner of baseball team that Forbes now ranks as seventh most valuable in MLB, at nearly $2.7 billion, due to enviable regional TV market. That’s up from $2.2 billion a year ago. Last year, the team brought in some $370 million in revenue, with operating income of $36 million, Forbes’ data indicates.

THE NUMBERS: The club was acquired in 2003 from Walt Disney Co. for $184 million; it is Moreno’s chief asset, and its value continues to rise and could go much higher if long-awaited development around the stadium moves ahead. Angels’ roster currently includes two of MLB’s most recognizable and marketable players, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the latter of whom is expected to land the largest contract in baseball history when he hits free agency in the offseason.

CHANGE IN PLANS: In August 2022, said he was beginning a formal process to evaluate strategic alternatives for the club, including a possible sale of the team. Changed his tune in January, now keeping the team. Said a Forbes report on the most valuable teams in baseball: “Before Arte Moreno pulled the plug on selling his Los Angeles Angels in January, he would have gotten at least $2.7 billion, or $280 million more than the MLB record $2.42 billion that Steve Cohen paid for the New York Mets in 2020,” citing people familiar with the sale process.

RANGING VALUATIONS: Sources tell the Business Journal that a price closer to $2.5 billion was offered for the team, which is lower than what national reports said. It is estimated that Moreno counts some $500 million of debt tied to the team.

BIG BREAK: He’s on his second fortune—the first came from Outdoor Systems, a billboard company he founded with partner and Angels minority investor Bill Levine, taking it public in 1996 and selling to Viacom in 1999 for $8.7 billion in stock.

PHILANTHROPY: Moreno and his wife, Carole, are heavily involved in local charities and other causes. The Angels Baseball Foundation has gifted nearly $9 million to charitable programs throughout Southern California. In addition, they founded the Angels Scholars Program in 2016, which funds college scholarships.

Walking Away From $3B?

“I had some big numbers,” Arte Moreno told Sports Illustrated before the latest season began, speaking of offers to sell the Angels. “Yeah, it was above the Mets’ number (of $2.4 billion). Well, it was considerably above the Mets number.”
SI reported that one source “said Moreno turned down at least one offer of ‘more than $3 billion.’”
Said Moreno: “When you got right down to it, I didn’t want to go.”

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