SBD/May 1, 2012/Franchises

Closing Of Dodgers Sale To Guggenheim Baseball Delayed Until At Least Today

McCourt's sale of Dodgers to Johnson's group could close this afternoon
The $2.15B sale of the Dodgers to Guggenheim Baseball Management did not close yesterday as expected, as the myriad details surrounding the record-breaking transaction are extending the closing into at least today. In particular, attorneys for the Dodgers, Guggenheim and MLB were still working through documents that had not previously been cleared by Joseph Farnan Jr., the mediator appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to oversee the sale. Lawyers involved in the deal have been working around the clock attempting to reach closing, but industry sources close to the transaction said there are no structural problems and completion remains well within reach. The closing is now anticipated for early today. Jamie McCourt, ex-wife of outgoing Owner Frank McCourt, is said to have received the $131M due to her yesterday as part of the pair's divorce settlement, according to industry sources (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). In L.A., Shaikin & Hernandez cite sources as saying that the sale “does not appear to be in jeopardy.” Guggenheim Partners CEO and Dodgers Controlling Owner Mark Walter and co-Owner Stan Kasten were among the incoming execs to meet with Dodgers' players prior to Sunday's game, which had been “expected to be their final home game” before the change in ownership. Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw said, “It sounds like they’re very committed, which is always awesome to hear from your ownership (L.A. TIMES, 5/1).

SEE YA LATER: In L.A., Steve Dilbeck writes that from a bloggers perspective, he’s sorry to see McCourt leave the Dodgers, as the former owner “was a regular hit machine” when it came to stories on the web. Dilbeck wrote that "in the world of blogging, you can see every single day how many hits you received, how many each post generated. And I’m here to tell you, [Frank] McCourt was good for business.” Dilbeck: “I am seriously worried the Guggenheim Baseball Management just won’t carry its page-view weight. It could force me to actually have to work for hits" (L.A. TIMES, 5/1). In California, Howard Cole writes Frank McCourt “holds no more power over the precious resources of our fair city,” so everyone can “all exhale and get on with our lives.” Cole adds, “The gloom and doom of the McCourt years is behind us. Frank has adiosed himself from the premises, the locks have been changed and everything really is going to be OK” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 5/1).
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