The owners of U.S. baseball team the Chicago Cubs have teamed up with Citadel founder Ken Griffin to work on a bid to buy English Premier League football club Chelsea, a spokesperson for Griffin confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday.
The Cubs' owners, the Ricketts family, and Griffin have formed an investment group which is set to make a formal offer for the London club on Friday.
Reuters has been told the bid does not involve Citadel, the hedge fund business, but only Griffin.
The Ricketts family said they would be leading the investment group that will make the bid.
"As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community," the Ricketts family investor group said in a statement reported by the BBC .
Chelsea was initially put up for sale by its owner Roman Abramovich following Russia's invasion of Ukraine before sanctions were imposed on the Russian oligarch by the British government.
The European champion is currently operating under a special licence and effectively controlled by the British government.
Abramovich bought the club in 2003 for a reported 140 million pounds ($183.16 million). He had funded Chelsea via 1.5 billion pounds in total loans through Fordstam Limited, the entity through which he owns the club.
His investment resulted in the most successful era in the club's history as it won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.
Chelsea is ranked by Forbes as the seventh most valuable club in world football at $3.2 billion.
The club is third in the league standings -- 11 points behind leader Manchester City -- while it is set to play Lille in the Champions League last-16 second leg later on Wednesday.
($1 = 0.7644 pounds)