Do you believe in Magic?
Magic Johnson’s bidding group reached a deal to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodger Stadium from Frank McCourt for a whopping $2 billion — the highest amount ever paid for a sports franchise. Bankruptcy judge Kevin Grossis expected to approve of the deal on April 13, a little over two weeks before McCourt must pay his ex-wife Jamie $131 million as part of their divorce settlement.
Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC are the official owners, which include Johnson, Mark R. Walter, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. The controlling owner is Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services company. Kasten, the former president of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, is expected to run the day-to-day operations.
The only bad news for Dodger fans is McCourt isn’t out of the picture completely as the team announced he “and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million.”
Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC was selected by McCourt over the billionaire duo of Steven Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
Below is the official release from the Los Angeles Dodgers:
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Frank McCourt today announced an agreement under which Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) will acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion upon completion of the closing process. The purchasing group includes Mark R. Walter as its controlling partner, as well as Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. Mr. McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers stated, “This transaction underscores the Debtors’ objective to maximize the value of their estate and to emerge from Chapter 11 under a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all creditors are paid in full.”
Frank McCourt stated, “This agreement with Guggenheim reflects both the strength and future potential of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and assures that the Dodgers will have new ownership with deep local roots, which bodes well for the Dodgers, its fans and the Los Angeles community. We are delighted that this group will continue the important work we have started in the community, fulfilling our commitment to building 50 Dream Fields and helping with the effort to cure cancer.”
Earvin “Magic” Johnson stated, “I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles.”