SBD/January 10, 2012/Franchises

John Moores' Sale Of Padres To Jeff Moorad "100% Done," Pending MLB Owners' Approval

Padres Chair John Moores said that Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad "is on the verge of completing his long-awaited purchase" of the team, according to Barry Bloom of MLB.com. The 100% "sale of the franchise -- at an estimated $530 million -- that Moores has held since late 1995 is on the agenda for approval by the owners at this Thursday's first joint quarterly meeting of the year." Moorad and his group of partners "had previously made two payments and were in possession of 49 percent of the franchise." The remaining "$200-plus million is coming from his current group and doesn't include any new investors." Moores said of the deal, "It's 100 percent done." Moorad also is "waiting for approval from MLB of a new regional sports network contract with FOX Sports that will bring the Padres' media-rights dollars more in line with other baseball franchises of comparable market size" (MLB.com, 1/9). In San Diego, Tim Sullivan cites MLB sources as saying that the "delay in approval of the Padres’ local television rights deal with Fox Sports was tied to the transition in ownership; that it was unlikely to move forward until Moorad had replaced Moores as the franchise’s 'control' person" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/10). Moorad "has until March 2014 to complete the sale" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 1/10). 

OWNERSHIP IN REVIEW: In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes Moores "scoffs at the thought" that he is "one of two men who saved baseball in San Diego." Canepa: "And for that reason alone, he was a good owner." When Moores "came out of nowhere" to purchase the Padres in '94, the "fire sale had just been completed." The team "was at the lowest of the low, playing baseball in a football stadium." Moores "insists his exit will not be bittersweet." Canepa notes Moores "says 'nolo commento' when asked why he sold the club, but there can be little doubt that his divorce from wife Becky had a whole lot to do with it." Moores said, "To be fair, I don’t know if I’d do it again. It’s like buying an E-ticket at Disneyland and a little ways into the ride saying, ‘Oh, oh, this was a mistake'" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/10). Moores also said that he "would continue to explore ownership opportunities in baseball and other sports." In '11, he "dropped out of contention to purchase" the Hawks. Moores said, "For me to get back in, it would have to be the right venue" (MLB.com, 1/9).
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