pvsbond/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)
The bleachers stand empty at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
Yesterday, I blogged about the four remaining bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Well, I blogged too fast, as one of the eliminated groups — investor Stanley Gold of Shamrock Holdings, along with the Disney family — is back in. A committee of Major League Baseball owners vetting the bids kicked them out, but a court-appointed mediator has kicked them back in.
Now five groups altogether will move in to a vote by all the MLB owners. After that, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will conduct a final auction to choose the winning bid. This process will be concluded by the first week in April, and the money will change hands by April 30.
MLB disqualified another bid, that of real-estate developer Alan Casden, but that decision was upheld by the medaitor, according to the L.A. Times' Bill Shaikin.
I don't have any good data on this, but the Gold/Disney bid should be in the $1.3 billion ballpark. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and new partner Peter Guber have the highest bid at $1.6 billion, while Steven Cohen, Arn Tellem with new partners Tony La Russa and Patrick Soon-Shiong are at $1.4 billion. Cohen, however, is reportedly bringing $900,000 million in cash to the deal.
Shaikin reported that MLB had some concerns about the Gold/Disney deal, because it entailed the creation of a "regional sports network." Interestingly, another rejected bid belonged to private-equity guy Tom Barrack and former YES network head Leo Hindry. YES is the Yankees network. Does MLB have some issues with the idea that a future Dodgers owners will set up his own broadcast operation?
Shamrock has $2 billion in assets under management, according to Forbes. So it's unlikely that Gold and the Disney family are bringing as much to the table as Cohen. That said, if the group can pass muster with MLB's owners — after failing to make the cut with the owners committee — is does offer a clear local alternative to the bids of Cohen (even with the additional of billionaire Angeleno Soon-Shiong as a minority investor) and Stan Kroenke, who owns the St. Louis Rams.