The Cubs Have A New Owner... Almost

This was posted by jerry morales rules in the FanPosts, but I thought it deserve a front page post as well.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Tom Ricketts and his group have been chosen as Tribune Company's preferred bidder.

However, that doesn't mean the sale is done. First, the creditors have to approve (that doesn't seem like much of an issue). Then, Ricketts and his group have to finalize terms. According to the article:

Ricketts is believed to have offered around $900 million. The Cubs, without a World Series crown in 100 years, still are among the most valuable franchises in Major League Baseball because of their strong attendance and national TV following.

Then, MLB owners must approve Ricketts, but that would seem to be a formality. Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney's statements last weekend hinted that MLB owners had already signed off on all three finalists.

But wait! There's more:

The company apparently showed creditors the favored bid as a courtesy. The creditors can fight over the proceeds, but do not have the authority to reject the bid. The Cubs franchise was not covered by the bankruptcy filing.

Tribune is not locked in to negotiate only with one bidder. Others remain free to enrich their offers.

The last paragraph throws a wrench of sorts, although I suspect that this thing will finally get done; if Ricketts has offered $900 million, it doesn't seem likely to me, in the current economy, that the other bidders would go much higher than that (Sam Zell probably could have gotten more for the team a year ago).

Personally, I'm happy if the Ricketts group is the new owner. Tom Ricketts is from Chicago and is a Cubs fan, and once lived over one of the bars near the ballpark. If he opens up his wallet -- and I expect he would -- I think we'll all be very happy with the results.

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