Purchase price is $1.6 billion, plus the assumption of $412 million in debt, reports the LAT. (That doesn't include the parking lot side deal, which is another $150 million.) This is at odds with early reports that it was an all-cash deal. We'll wait to see what else the court documents reveal, but for now Major League Baseball officials are concerned that the prospective owners have been slow to produce details of the bid and the structure of the management team, SI is reporting.
Several individual owners have joined baseball officials in questioning why the Guggenheim group, led by Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson, has not filed a more detailed Purchase and Sale Agreement more than a week after the group was selected from among three finalists by Frank McCourt, the outgoing owner who is selling the club through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The group was expected to file a Purchase and Sale Agreement with MLB earlier this week, but postponed the filing for two days before submitting a short form agreement that lacked what MLB regards as most of the necessary details. Of particular interest to MLB is a breakdown of where the money is coming from to cover the $2.15 billion sale price and what role McCourt has in the ownership, control and profit-sharing of the Dodger Stadium parking lots. Until MLB knows and reviews those details, according to sources, concern mounts about how the deal is financed and especially if McCourt stands to continue to profit from Dodger-related operations under the new ownership.
Here's another wrinkle: SI, citing sources not involved in the sale, says that the Guggenheim group has reached out to wealthy Angelenos as potential investors - apparently in response to questions about the amount of local money that's involved in the purchase. Of course, let's remember that this information is coming from unnamed sources who may or may not have the full picture of what's going on. Still it's intriguing - Guggenheim needs to open up.
*Forbes writer Mike Ozanian offers another explanation for the buyers offering so much:
When a sports franchise is bought, the purchaser receives a number of different types of assets. In the case of a Major League Baseball team, only a small portion of the assets are tangible (i.e. equipment and supplies). The vast majority of assets being acquired are intangible assets (i.e. player contracts, the right to share in league television and licensing income, the right to be a team in the league, to play the schedule, etc.). The depreciation of those assets for accounting purposes is going to save the team's new owners tens of millions of dollars on taxes they would have paid on their non-baseball businesses.
Any comment, Magic?
According to the documents, Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter will be the controlling partner, while longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten will be the president and chief executive officer. Former Lakers legend Magic Johnson is not listed in the documents, but he will have a small ownership stake and a large presence in the club's operations. Ned Colletti is listed as general manager, and Peter Wilhelm remains as treasurer and chief financial officer.
Magic Johnson and Frank McCourt at Dodgers' opening game in San Diego, April 5. Jon SooHoo/Dodgers