Forbes had a nice writeup late last week on the sale of the Chicago Cubs. As we’ve mentioned here before, with the Tribune Company in bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court is going to have to bless any sale – though the blessing will be largely perfunctory.
One hurdle to the rubber stamping, however, is the “second bite at the apple” for the bidders who aren’t selected.
Declaring a winner is still premature. With Tribune operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a final deal has to be approved by a judge, who would be first obliged to seek out any further bids. That would give each of the two “losers” a final shot at raising their offers.
“Everyone will get a second bite at the apple,” says sports investment banker Sal Galatioto, who is representing Ricketts. Galatioto confirmed that any final sale will undoubtedly include Wrigley Field and the Cubs’ 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the local sports cable channel.
More after the jump.
Hence the (roughly) billion dollar price tag. Last April, Forbes valued the club itself at $642 million–the fifth-highest in baseball. Tribune Company bought the Cubs for $21 million in 1981. Forbes.com.
So as much as we may want a sale – or even a “winner” – announced by this week, it might not happen quite that quickly.
And how about that last tidbit? The Cubs are only the fifth most valuable franchise in baseball? The Yankees and Red Sox, I suppose I’ll give you. But beyond that? I’m assuming the other two ahead of the Cubs are the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. That’s crap.