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.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.
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.
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)