Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dodger Bidders Are Almost Never Totally Out--Or So It Seems

     By Ross Newhan

     I reported in my last blog, posted Thursday afternoon, that the Dodger sale process had reached a point where it was changing hourly and remained quite fluid.

     I should have used a stronger word than fluid.   

     I should have pointed out again that the agreement between Dodger owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball did away with the concept of "one day you're in and one day you're out."

    The agreement is such that the bidders--almost from the start of a convoluted process--have always had another door on which to knock.

    Take the last 10 days or so for example.

   Seven groups or individuals began meetings with baseball's ownership committee and executive council in a continuation of the vetting process by baseball--background checks, financing and how each group planned to organize its operation, among other things.

   Ultimately four groups survived, moving on to the next step, while three individuals were rejected.

   They were Alan Casden, a Beverly Hills real estate developer; Stanley Gold, who supervises Shamrock Holdings, the firm that handles investments for the family of the late Roy Disney (Gold and the family being partners in the Dodger bid), and the partnership of Leo Hindery, former head of the YES network, and Tom Barrack, chairman of Colony Capital in Santa Monica.

   The three were out-- but not quite.

   The agreement between McCourt and baseball provides that any rejected bid group can appeal to a court appointed mediator.

  The mediator is Joseph Farnan, overseeing the sale of the Dodgers for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

  Casden initially issued a statement that he would not appeal, but he then did and was rejected again. Gold and Hindery/Barrack will appeal to Farnan on Monday.

    Whether they are approved or rejected again, the 30 major league owners will vote on all of the surviving groups Thursday or Friday--approving all, none or some, with final bids going to McCourt the following week. McCourt is then expected to pick the winner on or about April 1.

    Or, at least, that is the agreement.                      

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