Crain's Chicago Business reports that Tom Ricketts is looking for several investors to be part-owners of the Cubs.
That article is behind a pay wall. Here are some relevant parts:
Money raised from investors would reduce the amount the Ricketts family would have to borrow from banks to finance the Cubs deal. The preferred shares would represent an ownership interest in the team but confer no voting privileges or other rights of control. Investors would be entitled to a 6.5% dividend on their shares, according to people familiar with the terms. They also would get front-row seats at Wrigley Field, opportunities to hobnob with players and a place on an "advisory board" that would meet regularly to discuss the team's future. After 15 years, they'd get their original investment back without sharing in any appreciation in the value of the franchise over that period.
The reason for doing this is outlined here:
Tom Ricketts is looking for up to 10 investors with $25 million each. The balance of the purchase price is to be paid with borrowed funds, people close to the deal say. Mr. [Sam] Zell insisted on debt-heavy financing to reduce the capital gains tax Tribune would have to pay on the sale proceeds. But the high cost of bank debt - likely to carry an interest rate of 10% or more - is forcing Mr. Ricketts to seek alternatives. Proceeds from a preferred stock offering could be used to pay off some of the bank debt. Selling preferred stock also could help Mr. Ricketts win approval from Major League Baseball, which has restrictions on how much debt franchises can carry. "Anything that provides a higher level of equity and less debt would be viewed positively by the league," says Jeremy Krasner, a Virginia-based director at Stout Risius Ross Inc., an investment banking firm not involved in the Cubs sale.
Finally, the article notes that although the other owners could approve the sale as early as next month, "other reports" indicate that things could be delayed further, and that negotiations for details such as WGN's TV rights are ongoing. As ever, we await developments.