Philip Anschutz: Wikis


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Philip Frederick Anschutz (born 28 December 1939 in Russell, Kansas) is an American entrepreneur. Anschutz bought out his father's drilling company in 1961, and earned large returns in Wyoming.[1] He then diversified his portfolio by investing in stocks, real estate, and railroads. He then began investing in entertainment companies, co-founding Major League Soccer as well as multiple teams, including the LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, New York/ Ne Jersey Metro Stars, and the Kansas City Wizards. In addition, Anschutz owns stakes in the LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings, and Hammarby IF and venues including LA Staples Center, the O2 Arena in London, and the Home Depot Center. Anschutz also invests in family films such as The Chronicles of Narnia.


Early Years

Anschutz's father was a land investor who invested in ranches in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and eventually went into the oil-drilling business. Anschutz's grandfather, Carl Anschutz (born November 10, 1859, in Samara), emigrated from Russia and started the Farmers State Bank in Russell, Kansas. Anschutz grew up in Hays, Kansas, with part of the family located in Wisconsin (the location of his father's oil-exploration business, Circle A Drilling, where he lived near Bob Dole). In later years, Anschutz contributed to Dole's political campaigns. He graduated from Wichita High School East in 1957, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Kansas in 1961, where he was also a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.[2]

A member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, he is a conservative Christian. He and his wife, whom he met when he was 16, have three children. It has been reported that he owns an extensive collection of western art. It includes George Catlin's 1832 Bull Dance, George Inness's 1856 Afterglow on the Prairie, and important works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederic Remington, Fritz Scholder, and Charles Marion Russell.

Mr. Anschutz was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2002.[3]

Land ownership

In 1970 he bought the 250,000-acre (1,000 km²) Baughman Farms, one of the country's largest farming corporations, in Liberal, Kansas for $10 million. The following year, he acquired 9 million acres (36,000 km²) along the Utah-Wyoming border. This produced his first fortune in the oil business. In the early 1980s, the Anschutz Ranch, with its 1 billion barrel (160,000,000 m³) oil pocket, became the largest oil field discovery in the United States since Prudhoe Bay in Alaska in 1968. He sold a half-interest in it to Mobil Oil for $500 million in 1982.

For several years Anschutz was Colorado's sole billionaire. With his acquisition of land in other Western states, he is thought to own more farm and cattle land than any other single private citizen in the United States.[4]

He then moved into railroads and telecommunications before venturing into the entertainment industry. In 1999, Fortune magazine compared him to the nineteenth-century tycoon J.P. Morgan, as both men "struck it rich in a fundamentally different way: they operated across an astounding array of industries, mastering and reshaping entire economic landscapes."

Rail and petroleum businesses

In 1984 he entered the railroad business by purchasing the Rio Grande Railroad's holding company, Rio Grande Industries. Four years later, in 1988, the Rio Grande railroad purchased the Southern Pacific Railroad under his direction. With the merger of the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Corporation in September 1996, Anschutz became Vice-Chairman of Union Pacific. Prior to the merger, he was a Director of Southern Pacific from June 1988 to September 1996, and Non-Executive Chairman of Southern Pacific from 1993 to September 1996. He was also a Director of Forest Oil Corporation, beginning in 1995. In November 1993 he became Director and Chairman of the Board of Qwest, stepping down as a nonexecutive co-chairman in 2002, but remaining on the board. He has also been a Director for Pacific Energy Partners and served on the boards of the American Petroleum Institute, in Washington, D.C. and the National Petroleum Council in Washington, D.C.

In May 2001, the Bush administration upheld Anschutz's right to drill an exploratory oil well at Weatherman Draw, in south-central Montana where Native American tribes wanted to preserve sacred rock drawings. Environmental groups, preservationists, and 10 Indian tribes had appealed the decision without success. In April 2002, the Anschutz Exploration Corporation gave up its plans to drill for oil in the area. They donated its leases for oil and gas rights to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has pledged to let the leases expire, and the Bureau of Land Management said it had no plans to permit further leases there, and would consider formal withdrawal of the 4,268 acre (17 km²) site from mineral leasing in its 2004 management plan.

In May 2003 New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reached a settlement with Phil Anschutz after he was found guilty of accepting IPO shares from Salomon Smith Barney in exchange for his firm, Qwest's, investment banking business. He was given $4.4 million penalty. According to the New York Daily News, Anschutz made payments of $100,000 to the New York branches of 32 nonprofits and $200,000 each to six law schools as a penalty.[5] The payment was roughly equal to his profit from the practice of IPO "spinning".

In February 2006, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reported that Anschutz would not stand for re-election to the boards of Qwest and Union Pacific, and would resign from the board of Regal Entertainment Group, so that he could focus on his other investments. [6]

On June 24, 2008, it was announced that Anschutz would buy Xanterra Parks and Resorts, which had purchased the Grand Canyon Railway in 2007. Negotiations for the sale began on June 5 and the sale is expected to be completed in Fall 2008.[7]

Anschutz Entertainment Group


AEG also owns the Manchester Evening News Arena, the London Arena,the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, The Staples Center, The Home Depot Center, and the multi-purpose arena known as "The O2," formerly the Millennium Dome.

Anschutz's investment in the Millennium Dome in London, (through his company Anschutz Entertainment Group now The O2) has resulted in his involvement in controversy related to the possible influence of former British Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott in the award of the "super casino" license by the British government. Anschutz knows Prescott personally, having had him as a guest for a two-night stay at Anschutz's ranch in 2005 and footing the bill for hospitality and gifts.[8]

In January 2007, the "Super Casino" license was awarded to a group in Manchester, rather than to Blackpool or London. [9] Anschutz spent £50m on the MEN arena and the winner of the casino licence is a close ally of Anshutz, Sol Kerzner. [10] [11]

AEG & Michael Jackson at the O2 Arena

Anschutz's company, AEG, had booked Michael Jackson to perform at O2 Arena in 2009/2010. After Jackson's death, AEG offered to provide "souvenir" tickets to fans of the singer who waived refunds of the ticket price, although refunds of the approximately 750,000 tickets sold at £55-£75 each are available to customers that request them.[12] AEG also controls the rights to any material that forms a part of the "This Is It" concerts.[13]

Sports Ventures


Anschutz was one of the co-founders and one of the lead investors of Major League Soccer. In 1996, through AEG, he became the investor/operator of the Colorado Rapids. Since 1996, AEG has held ownership in Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes, New York/New Jersey MetroStars and D.C. United.[14] Currently, AEG is the investor/operator of bothLA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo.[15]

Anschutz was inducted in to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. Also in 2006, Anschutz received the NAtional Soccer Medal of Honor, one of four recipients to ever receive the award.[16] In 2007, Anschutz and AEG played a vital role in bringing David Beckham to the United States. Beckham is now employed by Galaxy Media and plays for Los Angeles Galaxy. [17]In 2009, he joined USA Bid Committee Board of Directors who are preparing the US's application and campaign to bring the World Cup to the United States.


AEG also owns the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers; the NHL's Los Angeles Kings[18]; the AHL's Manchester Monarchs; the ECHL's Reading Royals and Ontario Reign; the Swedish soccer team Hammarby IF, Swedish hockey team Djurgårdens IF; the German ice hockey teams Hamburg Freezers and Eisbären Berlin; and the Tour of California cycling race.

Anschutz is currently in negotiations to buy the Silverado Golf Resort in Napa, California.


When filmmakers made a movie about Red Adair in 1967, Anschutz struck a deal with Universal Pictures to permit filming real fire fighters extinguishing a real oil blaze on his land for a $100,000 fee. The footage was used in the 1968 John Wayne movie Hellfighters.

Anschutz Film Group (formerly Crusader Entertainment, now known as Bristol Bay Productions and Walden Media). Involved in the production of the movie Atlas Shrugged, and Holes in 2003 and the commercially successful The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 2005.

Other Business Ventures

  • Forest Oil
  • Pacific Energy Group
  • 17% stake in Qwest Communications, which became a Baby Bell upon the purchase of US West
  • Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie theater chain in the world, with approximately 6,000 screens. Anschutz owns more than half of the company, which is a collection of former bankrupt chains.
  • Union Pacific Railroad (Anschutz is the company's largest shareholder, with a 6% stake.)
  • Clarity Media Group, a Denver-based Publishing Group which includes:[19]
  • The Oil & Gas Asset Clearinghouse, which is an auction company designed for the Oil & Gas Business
  • NRC Broadcasting, which owns a string of radio stations in Colorado.
  • The Anschutz Investment Company purchased LightEdge Solutions in February 2008. LightEdge is a business-to-business hosted services provider focused on Wide-Area-Networking, Voice-over-IP, Hosted Microsoft applications (Exchange, OCS, SharePoint), hosted servers/storage collocation cage and rackspace and Business Continuity Services.
  • On June 17, 2009, The Washington Examiner confirmed that the Examiner's parent company Clarity Media Group has purchased the Weekly Standard. [20]

Political and Christian activism

Anschutz, a Republican donor and supporter of George W. Bush's administration, has been an active patron of a number of religious and conservative causes:

  • Helped fund Colorado's 1992 Amendment 2, a ballot initiative designed to overturn local and state laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.[21]
  • Helped fund the Discovery Institute, a think tank based in Seattle, Washington that promotes intelligent design and criticizes evolution. [22]
  • Supported the Parents Television Council, a group that protests against what they believe to be television indecency.[22]
  • Financed and distributed films with Christian themes, such as Amazing Grace and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for mass audiences through his two film production companies and ownership of much of the Regal, Edwards and United Artists theater chains.
  • Financed The Foundation for a Better Life.
  • In June, 2009, reports circulated that Anschutz was on the verge of purchasing the conservative American opinion magazine The Weekly Standard from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The reports reasoned that, having purchased The Wall Street Journal in 2007, Murdoch's interest in the smaller publication had been less forceful.[23][24] For Anschutz' part, the magazine's editorial line would appear consonant with his political views.

External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ Contemporary Honors Award Recipient Philip Anschutz, Kansas Business Hall of Fame, February 2000
  3. ^ Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rocky Mountain News : Denver News, Business, Homes, Jobs, Cars, & Information
  7. ^ Whitehurst, Patrick (2008-06-24). "New ownership for Xanterra, GC Railway". Williams News. Retrieved 2008-06-25.  
  8. ^ Philip, Sherwell (2006-10-07), Prescott discussed entertainment complex at dinner with tycoon,,, retrieved 2007-12-10  
  9. ^ The REAL winner at the supercasino, Daily Mail, Jan 30, 2007
  10. ^ New owner for MEN Arena - News - Manchester Evening News
  11. ^ The REAL winner at the supercasino | the Daily Mail
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Clarity
  20. ^ Weekly Standard sold to Washington Examiner parent company Washington Examiner
  21. ^ Andrew, Buncome (2006-08-07), Philip Anschutz: The Westerner,,, retrieved 2008-03-31  
  22. ^ a b Citizen Anschutz How the conservative Christian head of Regal Cinemas is trying to change how you see movies. Justin Clark. March 23, 2006
  23. ^ "Will The Standard Pass From Murdoch to Anschutz?" by David Carr in the Media Decoder blog, The New York Times, June 10, 2009, 11:15 am EDT; citing report on the Los Angeles Times’s Company Town blog. Retrieved 6/15/09.
  24. ^ "News Corp. Close to Selling Weekly Standard" by Nat Worden, The Wall Street Journal online, June 11, 2009. Retrieved 6/15/09.

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