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An interesting
read from Forbes
suggests, based almost entirely on Mark Cuban’s
previously-discussed blog post about dropping out of the Cubs bidding
process (due in large part to an inability to finance the deal with
sufficient debt), that the Chicago Cubs aren’t worth anything near the
$1 Billion pricetag that’s been bandied about.

So, fair to say, the Cubs are no longer worth $1 billion.
Same team, same cash flows, more or less. Yeah, advertising will be
down, but not by that much. It’s just that without financing, the same
identical underlying asset is worth much less!

How much less?

Down 40% is my guess. Everything is down that much. $600 million or
less is probably the right answer. Pay more and new owners won’t be
able to buy the next hot pitcher or Manny Ramirez’s bat. Cuban sums it
up: “The absolute last position I wanted to be in was paying so much
for the team, that if revenues fell off, I couldn’t play to win.”
Crazy like a fox, that Cuban.

The $600 million figure – though it may not be far off – seems to be
pulled out of a hat. The potentially scary part is that there may be a
$400 MILLION dollar range between what the “winner” expects to pay and
what the Tribune Co. expects to get. That could make for a lengthy
negotiation.

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