John Moores Will Retain 51% Ownership Interest In Padres For The Forseeable Future
|Moores will own 51% of Padres'
portion of new Fox RSN
Padres Chair John Moores will retain his 51% majority ownership stake in the team, "at least for the foreseeable future, while he determines whether he still wants to sell" the club, according to Barry Bloom of MLB.com. He also said Thursday that his agreement to sell the franchise to Vice Chair Jeff Moorad "has been terminated." Moores said that the group headed by Moorad "had two more years to close what was a $530 million transaction signed three years ago, but those rights are no longer in force." When asked whether he still intends to sell the team, Moores said, "Not definitely, but I think so. I have absolutely no idea how long it's going to take to make that decision. It's safe to say that it's open-ended now, that I'm going to own the team for the foreseeable future." Moorad has been "replaced as the point man for the minority partners" by Liquid Investments Chair & CEO Ron Fowler, who is a friend of Moores and "well known in the San Diego sports community." Moores said of Fowler, "He's a hard-working guy. He's going to be on our executive committee. So everything I know, he will instantly know. But this is not a big part of his investment portfolio." Meanwhile, Moores said that MLB has approved a 20-year, $1.2B deal with Fox to establish an RSN in San Diego County "with a $200 million up-front bonus." The Padres will "receive an average better than" $50M per year. Moores will own 51% "of the Padres' portion of the new network" (MLB.com, 4/6
). In California, Jay Paris wrote after three years of "life on the back-burner, the spotlight has found" Moores again. The return of a "frugal Moores ... brings a groan" to Padres fans. Moores is "sequestered, fearful of showing his face at games or tipping his hand." Paris: "Seeing his mug around Petco Park is as rare as a Padres rally. ... Good for Moores. Good that his deal with Moorad went sideways, which will increase Moores' windfall when he again peddles the Padres" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 4/9
LOCAL TIES: In L.A., Bill Shaikin wrote that it is "doubtful that any of the losing Dodgers bidders would jump into the Padres sweepstakes." Shaikin cited sources as saying that Moores has "retained Steve Greenberg of Allen and Co. to broker the sale" of the team. MLB officials have "encouraged L.A.-based baseball executive Dennis Gilbert to pursue the Padres, but he figures to let the Dodgers ownership transition play out first." Baseball HOFer and San Diego State Univ. baseball coach Tony Gwynn said that he "has not heard from any prospective Padres owners, but he would listen to what they had to say." Gwynn said, "I'd have to do my homework on it. I've heard that Magic [Johnson] was interviewing the groups, to see which one he wanted to align himself with." Shaikin wrote Padres fans "would feel better with Gwynn fronting an ownership group, secure in the belief that he would not align himself with buyers he did not trust to put a winner on the field" (L.A. TIMES, 4/8).