SBD/Issue 13/Franchises

Attanasio Seeking Local Investors; Value Of Deal Uncertain

Did Price Climb To $220M?

While reports have placed prospective Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio’s purchase price of the team at $180-200M, a team source now says that the price is $220M, according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The discrepancies “stem from the complexity of the proposed transaction,” the amount of debt the team carries and “other legal considerations in the deal.” Two independent reviews found the team had $133.2M in debt at the end of ’03. One source said that the Brewers “had been able to whittle [it] down to near $100[M] this year.” The industry average is $140.1M for clubs with new ballparks. Meanwhile, Walker reports Attanasio “is looking for local investors to buy a minority stake in the team, some of whom could be current shareholders.” One source said that Attanasio’s deal to buy the team called for him “to sell 30% of the team to local owners, while another source said that was only a goal, depending on the interest locally.” Sources said that current Brewers shareholders John Canning Jr., Harris Turer and David Uihlein are possible candidates to retain shares, but all declined to comment. A source added that Milwaukee-based exec Joe Sweeney “is working with a group of potential investors who may have an interest in ownership” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/29).

TIES THAT BIND: Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy said while he is from L.A., Attanasio’s “allegiance to Milwaukee is shown by his investment of what sounds like $200[M] to buy an asset that can’t be moved from this community.” Attanasio’s Milwaukee ties include his brother Robert, who is married to the daughter of Joan and Jack Stein, who own Milwaukee-based Stein Garden and Gifts, a chain of home and garden supply stores (AP, 9/29).

SHE’S OUT: Brewers Chair Wendy Selig-Prieb she will “definitely be done with the Brewers once a sale is complete” (Dale Hofmann, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/29).

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