Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Closing In

The All Star Break will be big for the six Cubs participating in the All Star Game (yes, seven were chosen, but despite his wishes to put Yankee Stadium Glory above Cub pennant aspirations, Alfonso "No Minor League Rehab" Soriano will not play in the game), but the following Friday will have far greater repercussions. Friday, July 18th is when first bids are due on the sale of the team:

Ten potential owner groups were approved to bid on the Cubs by Major League Baseball, which must approve any sale, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the sale process is ongoing. Bidders received the financial books for the Cubs last month.

"It's cooking," one source said. "It's happening. There's 10 approved bidders right now."

The source expects four to five bidders to make it to the next round, and expects a winner could be identified at or near the end of the baseball season, with a deal closing by year end or very early next year.

The next news should be who gets eliminated. If their bids are near the top, t's going to be hard for MLB to cut Jim Canning, Don Levin, Mark Cuban, and Jim Anixter at the first pass.

This sale is going to come down to total dollars. The Red Sox were sold for $90 million under the top offer. The reason the top offer was rejected was insufficient financing. Sam Zell will sell to the group that puts the most cash on the table, not jsut the highest offer. Don't believe anyone who says that any of the big players are out yet. No one outside of the groups knows the financing currently available. And, given where banks are these days, financing is harder to come by.

A guy with ready cash, not goofy financing, will likely find himself the winner.

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