SBD/December 19, 2011/Franchises

Previous Forbes Estimates Of Mariners' Value May Have Been On Conservative Side

Mariners' management criticized Forbes' valuation in past for lacking accuracy
The "most interesting stuff" that has come out of the divorce trial of Mariners minority Owner Chris Larson has been "some court-appointed appraisals of what the team is worth," according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. The trial has "wrapped up closing arguments and is awaiting a decision," and one expert doing an appraisal for Larson's side "pegged the team's value at $551 million." The expert doing the appraisal for Larson's wife, Julia Calhoun, "put the franchise value at $750 million." In March, Forbes magazine's annual valuations of MLB clubs "suggested the team was worth $449 million." It turns out that Forbes, which has been "criticized in the past by M's management for lacking accuracy, may have erred on the conservative side." Because now, with analysts who were given "far more inside access than Forbes, we learn that one feels Mariners financial value is at least $100 million more." That came from the appraisal done on behalf of Larson, who has a "vested interest in seeing his stake in the team appraised lower because it could reduce the amount of any settlement he has to pay his wife." Baker noted on the "higher end, we've got a $750 million appraisal that blows the previous Forbes estimate out of the water" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 12/18).
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