Another day, another rich guy who reportedly wants to buy Dodgers
OK, I lied. Going to write another pained, positive post about Frank McCourt. You know, sometimes the truth does hurt:
He has apparently made them a desirable item.
Frank and Jamie McCourt purchased the Dodgers from the Evil Empire -- a.k.a. Fox -- in 2004 for $430 million.
Fox had done such a disastrous job running the team, nobody else was really interested. That’s largely why the team was sold to a couple from Boston who had almost zero cash but apparently the world’s niftiest parking lot.
Now, seven years later, people are lining up to purchase the Dodgers and they’re not even for sale.
I admit my own bid at putting an ownership group together has stalled -- I swear the Accord only has 62,000 miles on it -- but that hasn’t intimidated others from emerging.
Now comes word of yet another prospective buyer.Bloomberg News reported Monday that Alec Gores is preparing a bid for the Dodgers should the McCourts’ divorce force them to sell, which everyone seems to believe will happen except the McCourts.
Who is Alec Gores?
First off, he’s a billionaire, so he gets points for that. Forbes listed his worth last October at $1.7 billion. Gores, 57, reportedly made his money that newfangled American way -- leveraged buyouts.
Bloomberg said Gores’ investments include a 75% stake in Westwood One, the radio programmer, and Alliance Entertainment, a DVD distributor.
Gores may also partner in his bid with brother Tom Gores, another billionaire (Forbes: $2.4 billion). You know, sort of like your family.
All of this follows previous reports that Steve Garvey, Larry King, Mark Cuban, Dennis Gilbert, Tom Werner, Alan Casden, Mark Attanasio, Joe Torre and the Dilbeck Investment Group are all interested in purchasing the Dodgers.
Which, of course, are not for sale. Not today, anyway. Vultures at the ready? Not hardly, when you consider the cost.
The great irony is that the financially troubled McCourt has made the Dodgers a profitable and desirable team to own. The issue, of course, is less that he turned a profit on the team, but what he did with the profit.
The team’s value apparently has somehow skyrocketed even while all this divorce mess was unfolding. Forbes estimated the Dodgers were worth $727 million last April, but recently upped its valuation to a cool billion.
Frank McCourt, business genius!
The problem for McCourt is he has leveraged the team so seriously ($433 million long-term debt, up to $650 million total liabilities) that he hasn’t been able to secure additional funding. He’s had to request an advance from Fox for its 2011 TV rights.
OK, maybe not a genius.
The man does have some interest payments. Probably a tad more than on the Accord, but it’s early. And potential owners continue to emerge.
-- Steve Dilbeck