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FIRST THE MIGHTY DUCKS, NOW ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD?
Published May 19, 1995
The Walt Disney Co. and the Angels yesterday announced that Disney has agreed in principle to buy a 25% interest in the team, with an option to purchase the rest of the team upon the death of Owner Gene Autry, according to the L.A. TIMES. Disney will reportedly assume the role of managing general partner and run the day-to-day operations of the team. According to Angels President and CEO Richard Brown, that will happen "when the deal is consummated." Although terms were not disclosed, the deal is reported to be worth about $30M. Former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who was considered the "front-runner" to buy the team was told that the Disney offer "exceeded" the bid made by his group. Ueberroth: "We were disappointed that our bid was not accepted..." (Steve Emmons, L.A. TIMES, 5.19). MARKETING REVIVAL? In L.A., Ross Newhan writes, "[Disney's involvement] will almost certainly mean the revival of a comatose marketing and sales program throughout a densely populated area that the Angels have often ignored" (L.A. TIMES, 5/19). Disney Chair and CEO Michael Eisner said that the company "will create a number of concepts to develop synergies between the Angels and various Disney entities" (Thomas King, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/19). IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS: Since the relationship between the Autrys and the city of Anaheim "has been strained for years ... the possibility of Anaheim building a new baseball stadium with favorable terms for the Angels, or of at least significantly improving the ... lease, is greatly enhanced by Disney's involvement" (L.A. TIMES, 5/19).