MLB

Torre, Magic groups in hunt for Dodgers

The Dodgers are facing their final days under owner Frank McCourt.
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NEW YORK

Hedge fund head Steven Cohen and groups including Joe Torre and Magic Johnson have survived the first round of cuts in bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Stern

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Initial bids were submitted Monday to the financial firm handling the sale by Frank McCourt, and people affiliated with groups said Friday they were notified they will be advancing in the process. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized.

Those three groups surviving the cut were first reported by the Los Angeles Times on its website. It was unclear whether more groups also advanced to the next stage.

At least one bidder, also speaking on condition of anonymity, was part of a group that had not received a notification from Blackstone Group. About 12 groups submitted initial bids on Monday.

McCourt reached an agreement with Major League Baseball to sell the team by April 30, the deadline for him to make a $131 million divorce payment to former wife Jamie McCourt.

The team and Dodger Stadium are expected to sell for more than $1 billion, although it remains uncertain whether 240 acres of land surrounding the ballpark, which include the parking lots, will be included in the sale.

DODGER BLUES

 
Owner Winning pct. NL titles World Series titles
McCourts (2004-present) .522 0 0
FOX (1998-2004) .524 0 0
O'Malley Family (1950-1998) .567 13 6
Branch Rickey (1942-1950) .573 2 0
 

McCourt's agreement with MLB calls for him to forward up to 10 bidders to MLB for background checks, which cost each group $25,000 to cover baseball's costs.

"The preliminary round of bidding has underscored the robust nature of the sales process, the significant purchase opportunity which the Dodgers represent, and the enormous value that the sale of the Dodgers, including their media assets, will generate," the team said in a statement.

"Each of the preliminary bids has been reviewed carefully by the Dodgers and its financial adviser Blackstone. Blackstone is notifying all of the bidders as to which ones will and which ones will not advance in the sales process."

All three identified surviving groups have ties to baseball:

• Cohen is represented by Steve Greenberg, the son of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, a former agent and deputy commissioner and frequent banker for baseball team sales.

• Torre, a former Dodgers and New York Yankees manager, quit as an MLB executive vice president to join a group headed by real estate developer Rick Caruso.

• Johnson, the Hall of Famer and former Los Angeles Lakers star, is part of a group that includes former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten and Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the Guggenheim Partners financial services firm.

Tagged: Dodgers

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