Breaking News
More () »

Timbers/Thorns owner Merritt Paulson quietly sold 15% stake in organization last year

The move marked the first time that Merritt Paulson has sold a stake of his team.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The longtime owner of the Portland Thorns and Timbers soccer clubs reportedly sold a 15% stake in the organization quietly in 2021.

The move marked the first time that Merritt Paulson has sold a stake of his team, according to the sports business outlet Sportico, which broke the story. The club confirmed to the Portland Business Journal that it took on Arctos as an investor at 15%.

A private equity firm that's invested in more than a dozen professional sports teams, Arctos was part of the sale along with a group of other investors. Arctos has also invested in the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Liverpool FC.

“The investment was at an enterprise value of $600 million with Arctos securing a more traditional minority discount on its piece,” the report said.

Sportico also reported that the Timbers and Thorns are worth $685 million. It's not immediately clear how the values were tabulated.

The Paulsons purchased the then-USL Timbers in 2007. The ownership eventually bought a Major League Soccer expansion franchise for $35 million: That team began play in 2011. Two years later, the Thorns became an NWSL charter franchise.

The Portland teams have faced issues over the past two years. The Oregonian recently reported that a lawyer who shared findings from the investigation into former Thorns coach Paul Riley’s alleged sexual misconduct said the club didn’t do as much as it should have when the allegations surfaced.

Read more on the Portland Business Journal's website.

The Portland Business Journal is a news partner with KGW News. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out