SBD/March 23, 2012/Franchises

Steven Cohen Seen As "Clear-Cut Favorite" In Bidding For Dodgers' Ownership

SAC Capital Advisors Founder and Mets investor Steven Cohen “has made himself the clear-cut favorite to wind up owning the Dodgers next month,” according to sources cited by Bill Madden of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. A source said that Cohen is “best positioned to structure his bid with sufficient equity to offset the $400 million in Dodger debt accumulated” by outgoing Owner Frank McCourt. Because all five of the bidders “have insisted that the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium and their revenue -- which McCourt placed in a separate company exclusive from the bankruptcy process -- be included in the deal, it has been speculated that the April 1 deadline for McCourt accepting the winning bid might be extended a few days” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/22). FORBES' Mike Ozanian cited a source as saying that the bidders “do not simply want the right to lease the parking lots at Dodger Stadium from team owner Frank McCourt, they want outright ownership of the land.” Bidders have been “adding partners over the past several days to increase the cash component of their offers and prepare for the final auction of the team” (FORBES.com, 3/22).

DIVORCE COURT: BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK’s Steven Church noted the Dodgers are “seeking dismissal of Jamie McCourt’s $131 million claim, saying owner Frank McCourt must pay his ex-wife.” Court records show that the McCourts signed a divorce settlement “requiring Frank to give Jamie $131 million by April 30 or sell team assets to make the payment.” The Dodgers in a filing on Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, said that since the team “isn’t a party to the settlement, it cannot be forced to pay Jamie.” Jamie McCourt had “filed a so-called proof of claim in the bankruptcy case, demanding that the team pay her $131 million” (BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK, 3/22).
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