Pretty incredible update on the Dodgers ownership situation from the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin:
Source: #Dodgers deal is all cash, no financing. MLB review will be formality because of no debt added to team liabilities.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 28, 2012
That removes any concerns about the financial situation for the new owners. Incredible win for Frank McCourt and hopefully MLB, as the Dodgers franchise and its fans have new hope.
Basketball legend Magic Johnson led a group that won an auction for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team Tuesday night, marking the final chapter of in a soap-opera style saga for the legendary franchise, according to people with knowledge of the process. With a bid of $2.15 billion, including the surrounding land, Mr. Johnson, controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball’s flagship franchises. The sales figure shatters the previous record sales price for a U.S. sports franchise, Steve Ross’s purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago.
Surprising news from L.A. as the Magic Johnson group wins the Dodgers auction, defeating presumed favorite Steve Cohen. In a stunner, Frank McCourt stays on as a partner in the JV that will own the parking lots.
One of the investors is Steven A. Cohen, a hedge fund wizard. The others - in a rather striking development given the latest stated plan of the Mets’ owners - would be the team’s partners in the SNY cable network.
Time Warner Cable and Comcast are nearing a plan to finance SNY’s purchase of four shares in the Mets, worth $80 million, said one person with knowledge of the plan who was not authorized to speak publicly.
If the deal is completed, the Mets would appear to have buyers for the 10 shares they are selling.
That means they will have much-needed cash to pay off their substantial debts. But it would be a slightly quirky way of doing it. The deal would mean 16 percent of the Mets would be owned by SNY. The Mets’ parent company, Sterling Equities, owns 70 percent of the network.
One way to view this (which would erroneously value the team at 0) is that Comcast and Time Warner are each buying back 5.6% of SNY from Sterling for $40M each. Clearly, the team, despite its financial struggles, has a monetary value, but its interesting to see Comcast & Time Warner buying back equity in SNY.
…[A] successful effort by Kroenke to buy the Dodgers could be regarded as the first tangible step toward moving the Rams to Los Angeles.
And here’s where things get even more interesting. If Kroenke owns the Dodgers and another team moves to Los Angeles, how would the NFL’s cross-ownership rules apply? Currently, an owner of an NFL team can own a non-football team in another market as long as there’s no NFL team in that market. If Kroenke buys a baseball team in Los Angeles, which would be permissible, and then an NFL team other than the one owned by Kroenke moves there, the situation could get dicey, to say the least.
Interesting question raised by Florio regarding cross-ownership rule application to Stan Kronke’s Dodgers bid.