The long and winding road that is the sale of the San Diego Padres appears to be close to ending. According to sources, the sale could be completed as early as next week. The bigger question is, who will wind up being the owner?
There have been some rumblings that hedge-fund magnate Steven Cohen could be that guy. Cohen is currently a minority owner in the New York Mets and reportedly had a $1.6 billion offer on the table for the Los Angeles Dodgers before the Guggenheim Group pulled in with a staggering $2.15 billion deal.
There has been precedence for a bridesmaid becoming a bride after losing out on a sale. Prior examples include Frank McCourt (bid for the Red Sox before landing the Dodgers) and Jeffery Loria (lost auction to Peter Angelos for the Orioles before landing the Expos and then the Marlins).
While Cohen aligns well in terms of having cash on hand, his approval by Major League Baseball as a bidder, and his “close but not quite” bids for clubs prior, word is that while there was considerable buzz around Cohen as early as last week, that aspect has died down this week, a possible sign that a different prospective owner is bubbling to the surface. The sale is reportedly an “auction-type” process – something that has garnered higher sale numbers in the end as witnessed by the Texas Rangers and most recently, Los Angeles Dodgers transactions.
The three bidders that are reportedly still in the mix include Cohen, former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, and two others from Orange County. One name floating around but not yet confirmed is Gary Jabara of Mobilite as one of the two.
The Biz of Baseball projected the sale of the Padres to be around $700 million but that did not include the club’s equity stake equity stake in FOX Sports San Diego which is approx. $200 million. In that, the total sale could hit at or in excess of $900 million.
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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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