Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cuban Gets Closer?

These things are complicated and the situation changes all the time, but at least out of the gate, Bud Selig's favored bidders for the Cubs aren't cutting the mustard:
Tribune Co. informed would-be buyers of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field today whether they would be invited to continue in the auction based on last week's initial bids, with at least one previous front-runner seemingly on the outs -- at least for now.

A group led by John Canning, chairman of Chicago private-equity firm Madison Dearborn, valued the Cubs, Wrigley and the team's stake in Comcast SportsNet at far less than the $1 billion or more that the four or five groups team owner Tribune Co. deemed satisfactory to continue, a source with knowledge of the process said.

Canning declined comment.
Sam Zell is no dummy, and he's not going to get sued by shareholders for taking anything other than the highest bid simply because it would make Bud and Co. happy. No word on how Mark Cuban is faring, but you can bet that if his bid wasn't up to snuff we'd know about it.

As for me, though it would be bad for the Cubs and everyone else in the short term, I would love nothing more than a fishy bid process that throws the whole thing into court and eventually torpedoes baseball's antitrust exemption.

Ain't gonna happen, but a boy can dream, can't he?

(Thanks to Chris H. for the link)


Daniel said...

You have strange dreams, Craig.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Not all of my dreams are about antitrust law. Some are about reinsurance contracts and multi-district litigation.

Daniel said...

Well, as long as the multi-district litigation involved some hot jurisdictional disputes and gerrymandering, I'm cool with that. I mean, who hasn't had one of those dreams?

Chris H. said...

I've been trying to get my wife to buy into multi-district litigation for years, but no soap.

rob said...

I thought the Tribune Co. went private recently, and that's the driving force behind selling the Cubs and Wrigley. If that's true, what shareholders would be available or even have standing to sue Zell over any sale of the team?

That said, I fully expect the favored bidders to join up with a group like the one figureheaded by Hank Aaron in order to resubmit a higher bid.