THIS IS BREAKING NEWS...
In a technical move designed to hasten the sale $845 million sale of the Chicago Cubs from the Tribune Co. to the Ricketts family, Wrigley Field, and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Chicago Cubs have, as expected, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Cubs, themselves, have not filed, but rather to the newly created Chicago National League Ball Club LLC in which Tribune will retain a 5 percent ownership equity in the Cubs and the Ricketts family control a 95 percent.
The structure of the transaction is technically not a “sale” with Tribune continuing to own a minority stake. In what is called a “leveraged partnership”, Tribune would avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in capital gains taxes.
Filing for bankruptcy is being done to protect the transaction from any liens and claims as part of the Tribune Co.’s separate Chapter 11 proceedings. The LLC is not expected to be held up in the bankruptcy for more than a few days.
In advance of the sale agreement being completed, MLB's owners approved the ownership transfer via conference call earlier this month.
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