Guess where the Dodgers owner came up with the $150 million to keep operating? Yep, another loan - at a fairly hefty 10 percent interest rate. McCourt asked at least seven lenders before the Highbridge Capital hedge fund agreed to the financing. From Bloomberg:
The one-year $150 million loan from Highbridge, a New York- based hedge fund, sets interest at the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, plus 7 percent, providing that Libor is no lower than 3 percent, according to a court filing today. The team can draw $60 million initially and $90 million later. Highbridge, which will have first claim on the Dodgers' assets, gets a $4.5 million deferred commitment fee, plus 0.5 percent of the unused part of the loan, payable monthly.
A bankruptcy judge will have to sign off on this debtor-in-possession financing - and you can be sure that Major League Baseball will have something to say about that. The big question is how the filing impacts the Fox television contract - specifically whether the judge is willing to consider the long-term deal even though Major League Baseball turned it down. The bankruptcy code allows all contracts to be revisited, so at the least McCourt has bought some time (and his loan allows him to keep meeting payroll). But the process can often drag out for many months, even years. So it's virtually certain that the club will not be sold this season. Meantime, there's no telling whether Fox will want to do business with McCourt, even if the judge opens the door. The LAT reported last week that Fox would not support McCourt in a bankruptcy filing, though Fox has not said that publicly.
By the way, the Dodgers are being advised by L.A. attorney Bruce Bennett from the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. Ironically, Bennett represents a committee of creditors in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy.