A person familiar with the meetings held today between the seven groups remaining in the bidding for Frank McCourt’s Dodgers and Major League Baseball said the league’s owners were impressed with offers from the following parties: billionaire hedge fund titan Steve Cohenand agent Art Tellem; Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten; billionaire St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; Memphis Grizzlies billionaire owner Michael Heisley and investor Tony Ressler and Stanley Gold, chief executive officer of Shamrock Holdings, the investment company of the family of the late Roy Disney.
The highest bid was $1.6 billion, from former Los Angeles Lakers great Johnson and former baseball executive Kasten, whose purchase would be partially financed by private equity. But the owners were extremely impressed with the make up of Cohen’s bid, according to my source, which was $1.4 billion but included an astounding $900 million of equity. “There were five strong bids,” said the source, who did not have permission to speak of the negotiations publicly. The lowest bid from the five groups was $1.3 billion.
All the bids included the lease to the parking lots for Dodger Stadium, which would still be owned by McCourt.
MLB was not impressed with the structure of the bid by the group led Leo Hindery, managing partner of the private equity firm InterMedia Partners and former chief executive officer of the YES Network…
To be honest, I’m not sure how much credibility to give anybody but Bill Shaikin in this process, so take it with a grain of salt, but it appears the bidders are slowly being whittled down to everybody’s assumed three favorites.
Anyway, two things:
1) That’s two sources (maybe the same person, but confirmation, regardless) that believe Steven Cohen is the favorite.
2) The reality appears to be that Frank McCourt is keeping his damn parking lots.