A group led by billionaire Baltimore native David Rubenstein will own 97% of the team “as early as the end of May,” a spokesman said Friday.

The second stage of the sale, which Rubenstein first revealed to The Baltimore Sun in an interview, accelerates the full transition of ownership of the Orioles. The Angelos family had held 70% of the team since Peter Angelos bought the Orioles in 1993 for $173 million.

They sold a 40% share to Rubenstein in a deal that was approved one day before opening day in March — and days after Peter Angelos died.

Rubenstein had previously said his group had a plan in place to purchase a larger share of the team, and the Angelos family stood to save millions in taxes by delaying the full sale until after Peter’s death.

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Rubenstein’s spokesperson declined to reveal who would own the other 3% of the team. Much like Rubenstein, Angelos assembled a prominent group of minority owners when he bought the club, including novelist Tom Clancy, film director Barry Levinson and tennis star Pam Shriver. It is unclear whether any of those minority owners — or any members of the Angelos family — will retain a share of the team.

Rubenstein became the designated control person for MLB in late March and holds the largest stake in the new ownership group, although the consortium he leads runs deep. It includes billionaire Johns Hopkins graduate Michael Bloomberg, Ares Management CEO Michael Arougheti and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr.

A spokesperson for Rubenstein also said the Orioles are opening a search for a chief executive officer to take over daily operations of the organization. To The Sun, Rubenstein said: “On the business side, [former team chairman and CEO] John [Angelos] effectively served as the CEO, so I’m not going to play that role. We are recruiting people now, and we have a search firm.”

Since completing the acquisition of the Orioles shortly before opening day, Rubenstein has taken on a public-facing role. He served as a guest splasher, spraying fans in the Bird Bath Splash Zone with a hose, signing autographs and taking photos.

“I hope that they [the fans] will realize that the new ownership group is trying to be as connected to the fan base as possible and that we want to be connected to the community,” Rubenstein said May 10. “They can also say, ‘Doesn’t this guy have anything else to do?’ But who knows?”

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

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