April 23, 2014

Kroenke loses to Magic in Dodgers sale

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke was one of the three final bids to be considered to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers, but a group headed by former L.A. Lakers start Magic Johnson was awarded the team with a winning bid of $2 billion. It is the most an American sports franchise has ever been sold for.

Stephen Ross paid $1.1 billion for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 2009, and in England, Malcolm Glazer and his family took over the Manchester United soccer club in 2005 in a deal then valued at $1.47 billion.

Magic Johnson’s group is  called Guggenheim Baseball Management,and  has several other investors, including Mandalay Entertainment chief executive Peter Guber, Guggenheim Partners president Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton, (operators of oil and gas properties among other  investments) and Stan Kasten, a former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

The announcement of the sale came just hours after three groups were named finalists for what was to become an auction with the winning bid selected by Sunday. The other two finalists were:

Stan Kroenke, who in addition to owning the Rams, has family properties tied to the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. He also is majority shareholder of Arsenal in the English Premier League. The other was Steven Cohen, founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and is new limited partner of the New York Mets; biotechnology entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong; and agent Arn Tellem.

The sales agreement is to be submitted to the bankruptcy court by April 6, ahead of a hearing a week later, and the sale completed by April 30, the day current owner Frank McCourt is set to make the divorce settlement payment.