Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is exploring a sale of the MLB franchise, which is estimated to be worth $2.2 billion. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is considering a potential sale of the MLB franchise, he said in a statement.
Moreno released the statement Tuesday night. The organization said in a news release that it started a "formal process to evaluate strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the team."
Moreno, 76, bought the Angels in 2003 from The Walt Disney Co. for $184 million. In March, Forbes estimated that the franchise is now worth $2.2 billion.
"Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time," Moreno wrote.
"Throughout this process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interest of our fans, employees, players and business partners."
Moreno called his two-decade ownership tenure a "great honor and privilege." The Angels said they retained Galatioto Sports Partners to be their financial adviser in the process.
The Angels made the playoffs just once since 2009. They won the World Series months before Moreno took over. They lost in the ALCS in two of their six postseason appearances under Moreno. They lost in the first round of the other four playoff runs.
The Angels joined MLB in 1961 as an expansion team.
"We have seen three Angels owners since the team moved here in 1966," Anaheim Mayor Mike Lyster said in a statement. "While team sales do not happen every day, they are a fact of life in sports.
"This is a potential decision for Arte Moreno based on his investment and family considerations. Should we see new ownership, we look forward to continuing a great tradition of baseball in Anaheim."
The Angels (52-71) sit in fourth place in the American League West, 26.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros. They will battle the Tampa Bay Rays (67-55) at 7:10 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.