Dodgers sold to Magic Johnson Group for $2.15 Billion
(WSJ)–Basketball legend Magic Johnson led a group that won an auction for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team Tuesday night, marking the final chapter in a soap-opera-style saga for the legendary franchise. With a bid of $2.15 billion, including the surrounding land, Mr. Johnson, controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball’s flagship franchises. The sales figure shatters the previous record sales price for a U.S. sports franchise, Steve Ross’s purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago. But buying the Dodgers now comes with a unique opportunity to launch a potentially lucrative regional sports network in the country’s second-largest market, or sign a new local broadcast deal with the current broadcaster, News Corp.’s Fox unit, which has already offered the team a 17-year extension valued at nearly $3 billion. (News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal). The sales process was led by Blackstone LP, the New York-based investment advisory firm, which held the auction Tuesday evening, just hours after Major League Baseball approved three finalists in the bidding, allowing current owner Frank McCourt to accept the highest and best offer.Mr. McCourt filed the team for bankruptcy protection in June amid a deepening cash crisis and an ongoing feud with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. The deal allows Mr. McCourt to enter into a joint venture with the new owners on the land surrounding the stadium
Gotta hand it to McCourt. In June he files for bankruptcy and 9 months later he is a billionaire and has the right to keep his precious parking lots. All of these assets should be protected from his wife since the divorce is final too. Well done Frank. We should call him Dodger.
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