By Dakota Smith, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/18/2012 06:48:04 PM PDT

In a deal that could complicate plans for a downtown NFL stadium, Anschutz Company announced Tuesday it may sell the sports division poised to build the project.

Denver, Colo.-based Anschutz Company is seeking a buyer for Anschutz Entertainment Group, the L.A.-based sports and entertainment division unit that owns the Los Angeles Kings, Staples Center, L.A. Live, the L.A. Galaxy and other sports teams and stadiums around the globe.

The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said the sale could fetch billions of dollars.

It is unclear if there is already a buyer, or how long Anschutz Company has been considering the sale, but in a statement, Cannon Y. Harvey, president of the Anschutz Company, called it an “appropriate time to transition AEG to a new qualified owner.”

The company hired Blackstone Advisory Partners to help with the sale – the same firm that managed the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion earlier this year, which broke the record for sale of a sports franchise.

On a global level, the sale of AEG would dramatically shake up the sports and entertainment world.

While AEG is based in Los Angeles, where some of its most high-profile projects and ownership stakes are located, including Staples Center, L.A. Live, and the Home Depot Center in Carson, the company has theaters and arenas in New York City, London, Berlin, Shanghai and Sydney.

In Los Angeles, the sale of the company would be scrutinized given a pending deal for a stadium. | Read Vincent Bonsignore’s column about the potential AEG sale

The National Football League has yet to agree to come to L.A., but city planning staff, financial advisors and transportation officials have worked for months with AEG representatives on a proposal to build a downtown stadium.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was aware “for some time” that AEG was going up for sale. In a statement released by Villaraigosa’s office, the mayor stated that he speaks regularly to Anschutz Company head Phil Anschutz and AEG President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Leiweke.

“I have the commitment from both of them that this won’t affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future,” Villaraigosa said, “And so will not affect my support for moving ahead with Farmers Field and the Convention Center site.”

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