SBJ/20090727/This Week's News

Ricketts’ bankers set syndication meeting

Bankers for Chicago Cubs bidder Tom Ricketts are scheduled to have a loan syndication meeting Tuesday in Chicago before inviting the lenders to a game at Wrigley Field.

Ricketts has been the front-runner to acquire the club since January, when Cubs owner Tribune Co. entered an exclusive negotiating period with him. While that window closed in May and Tribune has begun speaking with private equity investor Marc Utay about a deal, Ricketts is much further along in terms of financing.

Ricketts’ three banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup — have agreed to underwrite the $450 million loan necessary to complete his acquisition of the team. The meeting Tuesday is with other lenders who would buy pieces of the loan, a process called syndication.

Ricketts’ bid for the team was $900 million. Any deal with Tribune must be submitted to the court that’s overseeing the publishing company’s bankruptcy filing.

— Daniel Kaplan

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