Zell tells investors Cubs will sell in 2008

Multiple sources are reporting Tribune chairman Sam Zell informed investors the Cubs will sell by the end of this year to one of five bidder groups. Zell said he expects “rapid” approval of Major League Baseball. Among the reported finalists are groups led by Mark Cuban, John Canning, and the Ricketts family.   

(Crain’s) — Tribune Co. plans to have a deal to sell the Chicago Cubs by yearend, CEO Sam Zell said Tuesday.

The company will choose from the current field of five bidders and present a sale plan to Major League Baseball that is “fully negotiated, fully financed and where the MLB’s decision would be hopefully very rapid,” Mr. Zell told bond investors on a conference call Tuesday.

Three-quarters of the nation’s baseball franchise owners must approve any Cubs buyer. MLB has offered to hold a special meeting, should one be necessary, to speed the approval process, Mr. Zell said.

In my view, no offer will be accepted until the baseball playoffs are over and the dust has settled a bit. If things go the way we all hope for the 2008 Cubs, the value of the franchise – both on paper and in sentimentality – will have increased dramatically by the end of this years World Series.

I don’t foresee a scenario where by the value of the asset will decrease if they fall short this year. It seems the only question is, how high will it go?

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    August 26, 2008   Posted in: biz of baseball, Team Ownership

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