SBD/July 29, 2013/Franchises

Reinsdorf Has "Strongly Suggested" His Executors Sell White Sox Upon His Death

Sources said if Reinsdorf sold the White Sox, the team would fetch more than $800M
White Sox and Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf said that upon his death, control of the White Sox would "pass to the executors of his will, and he has 'strongly suggested' that they sell the team" when that happens, according to Hopkins & Harris of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Reinsdorf already had "raised questions about the team's future when he said in May that he recommended to his three sons that they sell the family's interest in the Sox after he dies." Both franchises "undoubtedly will feel the impact when he leaves the city's sports scene." But while the Bulls' future "seems straight and clear" -- his son Michael has been President & COO since '10 -- Reinsdorf "never has offered details about what's ahead for the Sox franchise." Reinsdorf and others indicated that he "always has held virtually unfettered control of the team because he holds a majority stake in the corporation that runs the team." He said that this "gives him -- and the executors of his will, whom he declined to name -- authority to sell without the approval of other investors." Sources said that, "if sold today, the team could easily surpass" the $800M paid two years ago for the Padres. One of Reinsdorf's sons in an interview said that he "isn't sure what will happen." While other investors in the Sox "agree that Reinsdorf asserts absolute control on sales, they expressed confusion about what would happen once Reinsdorf dies." Some indicated that they have a "desire to own the team well into the future." If Reinsdorf's guidance is "heeded, the executors of his will would run the Sox until the team is sold." The team's investors "would receive cash for their stakes." Reinsdorf said that the limited partnership would be "dissolved." If investors wanted to continue being involved with the team, "they'd have to take it up with the new owner" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/28).

THE HEIR APPARENT: The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's Harris & Hopkins wrote Michael Reinsdorf is "seen as the heir apparent" of the Bulls, whom his father "gained control of" in '85. Michael Reinsdorf's positions were "created for him to oversee all business affairs." Prior to that, he had been "representing the Bulls" at NBA BOG meetings. Both Reinsdorfs said that Michael's "involvement in the Bulls -- and not the Sox -- is due to Jerry's schedule." Jerry "snowbirds in Arizona during basketball season and is heavily involved in daily operations with the baseball team." Michael Reinsdorf said, "I think having myself involved here makes it clear to the people inside the office and the people outside the office that the Chicago Bulls are incredibly important to my father" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/28).
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