In what would appear to be breaking news (if you can call something that might be about to happen breaking news), Reuters is reporting that the richest man in Los Angeles, Patrick Soon-Shiong, is planning on making a bid for Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, the LA-based sports and entertainment empire that owns LA Live, the Staples Center, Coachella, most of our sports teams, and basically everything north of the 10 freeway. AEG also plans on building a football stadium in Downtown LA.
But who just who is this Soon-Shiong, a man whose fame pales in comparison to the Broads and Carusos, even though his fortune towers over theirs? Here, then, is your Patrick Soon-Shiong Fact sheet:
• According to Forbes, Soon-Shiong, 60, is worth $7.3 billion with a b, making him the 47th richest American (full list here), only three spots behind Philip Anschutz himself, and eight spots ahead of Eli Broad, the second-richest Angeleno.
• Born in South Africa to Chinese immigrants fleeing the country during World War II, Soon-Shiong studied hard, graduated from Medical School at the age of 23 and became a surgeon (his dad had been a village doctor in China).
• According to Wikipedia, “In 1993, Dr. Soon-Shiong performed the world’s first encapsulated human islet cell transplant and first Pig to man islet cell transplant in diabetic patients.”
• He has published over 100 scientific papers and is co-inventor of over 50 patents, including a drug, Abraxane, which is currently in trials to treat a number of forms of cancer.
• His wife, Michele B. Chan, was an actress, best known for her recurring role as Mei Jan in the TV show MacGyver. Other credits include Chan Lee in American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt and Dr. Donna Chen in the TV series Danger Bay.
• The Soon-Shiongs are big-time philanthropists, of course. They’ve pledged to give a billion dollars to create something called a “national health information highway.” Through their foundation, they’ve given $135 million to Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, and have promised $100 million to the reopening of Martin Luther King Hospital in South LA, scheduled for next year.
• Soon-Shiong made his fortune in the health care industry, building and selling two very successful drug companies. According to Forbes:
He took American Pharmaceutical Partners public in 2001, and spun off a new company, Abraxis, in 2007. He sold APP in 2008 for $5.6 billion to Germany’s Fresenius and Abraxis in 2010 to Celgene for $2.9 billion.
The range of technologies in the NantWorks portfolio affects the entire continuum of advanced communications. It includes state of the art semiconductor chips, switches and encryption technologies, augmented reality, novel object and voice recognition technologies, broadband telecommunications services and ultra-low power remote monitoring devices.
• Soon-Shiong is a big sports fan. He was in the group that bought the Dodgers earlier this year, and owns 5% of the LA Lakers. Buying AEG would increase his stake in the Lakers substantially.
• The Soon–Shiongs are also apparently big Wendy Greuel fans. Both they and their daughter, Nika, have given Greuel checks for $1,300, the maximum allowed donation. The check from Nika is, of course, a campaign finance loophole – she’s a student at Stanford and a former LA Times intern.