SBD/April 11, 2012/Franchises

John Moores Retains Investment Banking Firms To Broker Sale Of Padres

Moores retains two investment
firms to help broker Padres sale
Padres Chair John Moores yesterday formally restarted his efforts to sell the club following the collapse of a prior agreement with team Vice Chair Jeff Moorad, retaining both Allen & Co. and Moag & Co. to broker a new deal. The move by Moores provides some clarity after weeks of mystery surrounding the club following the removal of a planned vote from the agenda of January's league meeting, Moorad's exit from team day-to-day operations, and then forfeiture of the team's Chief Exec title. A new sale is likely six to 12 months away, but when it does arrive, it likely will be for significantly more than the estimated $530M deal Moores signed with Moorad in '09. The deal will include the controlling interest in the club and a 20% share in the new RSN the Padres are forming with Fox Sports Net. "Obviously, this is a good time to reach out and see what the interest level is," Moores said in a conference call yesterday with reporters. "Clearly the Dodgers sale and the current media market will have a lifting effect on the value of the club." Moores declined to outline a new desired price target, or the specific circumstances surrounding Moorad's sudden exit when he appeared to be on the cusp of full entry into the fraternity of MLB team owners. But Moores said he was under no pressure to sell the club right now (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). Moores noted that the decision "was made after he met last week with the limited partners." Moores: "What I did was meet with the limited partner group right before the opening game. I found out what they wanted to do. Ron Fowler, as member of the executive committee, will be sitting with me and the bankers. No decision was made until I talked with the limited partners. The sense of the limited partners is that it was time to sell." Moores also said that he has "heard no names regarding who might be interested in buying the Padres." Moag & Co. Chair & CEO John Moag said that he and Allen & Co. Managing Dir Steve Greenberg "have already received 'a number of calls' regarding the Padres" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/11).

PRICE CHECK
: In California, Dan Hayes notes the Padres are "expected to announce this week" that MLB has "approved a 20-year, $1 billion broadcast rights deal with regional sports network Fox Sports San Diego." Reports indicated that in the wake of the record $2.15B paid by the Johnson-Guggenheim Partners group to buy the Dodgers last month, the Padres "could sell for at least $700 million." Moores said, "Everybody is aware of the Dodgers transaction, and also the overriding factor is it is a very strong media market, which lots of clubs are starting to feel. It's obviously a good time to reach and find out what the interest level is in acquiring the franchise" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 4/11).
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