Bob Iger, Willow Bay to buy Angel City FC soccer team for $50M

Disney CEO Robert Iger and his wife, Willow Bay, are reportedly nearing a deal to buy a controlling stake in the Los Angeles professional women’s soccer team for $50 million — a sum that would instantly make it the most valuable women’s sports club in the world.

The power couple would take over the controlling stake in Angel City FC from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, according to Puck News. The team’s pre-cash valuation was around $250 million.

Two people close to the negotiations told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the deal is expected to be competed within a short period of time. A source close to the matter reached by The Post confirmed the reports.

Disney CEO Bob Iger and his wife, Willow Bay, are reportedly on the verge of buying a controlling stake in the Angel City FC women’s soccer team. AFP/Getty Images
Angel City FC is one of 14 teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. Getty Images

Iger and Bay, the dean of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California, beat out competing bids from investor Marc Lasry and Manchester United owner Avie Glazer, according to Semafor.

Angel City FC board members and shareholders were reportedly eager to have a woman included in the ownership group.

The couple pledged that as owners they would “accelerate the growth of this uniquely positioned team and its league” and “ignite higher expectations” for the club while “advanc[ing] equity for women athletes and women-owned businesses,” according to a pitch deck obtained by Semafor.

The team’s other stakeholders include actors Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria as well as soccer stars Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.

The Post has sought comment from Angel City FC, Iger and Bay.

Ohanian, Angel City’s lead investor and one of its four primary owners, expressed displeasure last year over the team’s finances — particularly its free-spending ways.

Bay and Iger will replace Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian as leading shareholder of the soccer team. Getty Images

He clashed with the club’s other owners — prompting the board to hire the Manhattan-based boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. to manage a sale of the team.

Angel City is one of 14 teams to compete in the National Women’s Soccer League, the highest level of professional women’s soccer in the United States.

Just over a decade old, the NWSL has become one of the fastest growing sports leagues in the country.

Fan attendance at games is up 26% nationwide since 2022.

Last year, the NWSL struck a lucrative media rights deal with CBS Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video and Scripps Sports which was valued at $240 million over four years.

In an effort to attract capital, NWSL was the first professional sports league to allow institutional investors to own teams outright.

The NWSL is one of the fastest growing professional sports leagues in the United States. Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Sixth Street Partners, the San Francisco-based investment firm, is backing Bay FC, the local NWSL club, while Manhattan-based Levine Leichtman Capital Partners bought the San Diego Wave for $120 million — a record sum at the time.

Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, bought the Chicago Red Stars last summer for $60 million.

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