In a scene played out with the other MLB clubs, the sale of the Chicago Cubs won't be occurring when originally planned.
The sale of the storied franchise has been pushed out from the end of the year, to just before the beginning of the 2008 season. The reason? The Tribune Co.’s bankers have not yet sent out its detailed financial report of the historic club to the prospective bidders. As reported by The AP:
A source familiar with the sale process said there's no chance of the sale being completed this year, with a more realistic target now baseball's opening day in spring 2008. The source, who declined to be identified out of concern of disrupting the process, said "five or six legitimate groups" have emerged as would-be buyers, but declined to give details.
Tribune, in the process of going private in an $8.2 billion buyout being led by real-estate magnate Sam Zell, isn't talking about dates, names or numbers. A spokesman for the media conglomerate, Gary Weitman, said the company doesn't want the process to be a distraction to the season.
"We'd like to get the sale done as soon as possible after the baseball season ends," Weitman said. "But I can't and wouldn't predict what the timing will be."
As we reported prior (Who Might Be Owning the Cubs?), when the Cubs, Wrigley Field, a 25% stake in ComcastChicago, and Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services are all in the mix, the total price tag for the Cubs could reach $1 billion.
The article further reports that five to six serious bidders are in place for the storied franchise, but as mentioned in Who Might be Owning the Cubs?, John Canning, Jr., chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC is still the favorite to be the winning bidder.
Read More on the Sale of the Cubs on The Biz of Baseball:
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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