SBD/July 9, 2012/Franchises

Sources: O'Malley Group Selected To Purchase Padres; Deal Expected Within Two Weeks

Peter O'Malley's ownership group includes his sons, nephews
Padres Chair John Moores has selected the O’Malley family "to purchase the club," according to a source cited by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSPORTS.com. The source said that the deal -- valued at $800M, including $200M "for a portion of the team’s equity stake in FOX Sports San Diego -- is pending approval by baseball and completion of contractual terms within the next two weeks." Liquid Investments Chair & CEO Ron Fowler "will be the point man for the group at the request" of Peter O’Malley’s nephew, Peter Seidler. Seidler and his brother Tom "will be members of the group," along with O’Malley’s sons, Kevin and Brian. Golfer Phil Mickelson "also will be an investor" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/7). In San Diego, Bill Center cited sources as saying Friday that the O'Malley group "continues to negotiate the purchase of the Padres, although no agreement will be reached before the end of the All-Star break." A source said, "The sale is advancing, but it’s nowhere close to being completed. Some details of the negotiations have slid backwards. But overall, there continues to be progress toward an agreement in a very complicated transaction." One source said that an agreement "looked imminent" early last week but "could be at least 10 days away now." The negotiations are "complicated" by Moores "being out of the country on vacation." Moores owns 50.68% of the team, while the minority group put together by Vice Chair Jeff Moorad in '09 to purchase the Padres owns 49.32% percent. When the sale is completed, "some of the minority partners will be joining the O’Malley Group" (UTSANDIEGO.com, 7/6).

NEW INVESTMENT: Also in San Diego, Kevin Acee wrote when the sale is completed, "we’ll still have questions regarding what the O’Malleys are all about," but fans will "know we have an engaged ownership group." Padres RF Mark Kotsay said, "You know what you're getting from the O'Malleys. It brings to rest the uncertainty and questions. We can get a clearer picture now." Kotsay is the "only Padre who was in the majors when the O’Malley brothers’ father and Peter and Tom Seidler’s mother" sold the Dodgers in '97. Padres P Huston Street said, "Everyone wants someone committed to winning. You see that in signings -- or not." Acee wrote, "The players are not saying Moores was not engaged. But I will. I haven't talked to the man in more than 10 years, and there weren't many words, at that. The only evidence I need is his lack of investment, a team that has the lowest payroll in baseball and has been in the bottom four for four straight years" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/7).
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