Thomas Ricketts, the final bidder for the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and a 25 percent stake in regional sports network Comcast SportsNet Chicago, has resigned from the board of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:AMTD), the company owned by his father, Joe Ricketts. The resignation comes after the family sold 34 million shares of the company last week worth approx. $403 million. Ricketts has been engaged in exclusive negotiations with the Tribune Co. to finalize the sale process for the Cubs and its associated assets. The $403 million from the stock sale will move the family closer to the $900 million bid price that Thomas Ricketts submitted. If need be, the Ricketts family has also said that it is willing to provide more equity in order to complete the deal.
With the sale, the Ricketts family now controls approx. 17.7 percent of Ameritrade, but at the same time, lost a one of three board seats the family controls. To address the lost seat, Thomas Ricketts resigned.
It should be noted that while Thomas Ricketts was on the board at Ameritrade, he has not been part of the day-to-day operations. Instead, Thomas went on to found the Chicago-based investment bank InCapital LLC.
If the Ricketts family is able to secure all the funding needed to complete the sale, MLB’s executive committee would need to approve Ricketts, as would 75 percent of MLB’s owners to complete the ownership transfer from the Tribune Co. to Ricketts. The family hopes to have the deal completed by mid-to-late April.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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