New York Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt announced an agreement Monday night to sell the bankrupt team for $2 billion to a group that includes former Lakers standout Magic Johnson and former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten.
The agreement, revealed about five hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three finalists for the auction, is to lead to a transfer of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court.
Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners would become the controlling owner. The price would be easily a record for a North American sports franchise.
As part of the agreement, the Dodgers said McCourt and “certain affiliates of the purchasers” would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium for $150 million.
The acquiring group, called Guggenheim Baseball Management, includes Mandalay Entertainment chief executive Peter Guber.
McCourt paid $430 million in 2004 to buy the team, Dodger Stadium and 250 acres of land that include the parking lots, from the Fox division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., a sale that left the team with about $50 million in cash at the time. The team’s debt stood at $579 million as of January, according to a court filing, so even after the divorce payment, taxes and legal and banking fees, he stands to make several hundred million dollars.