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Magic Johnson’s group agrees to buy Dodgers for record price of $2 billion

Mar 27, 2012, 11:17 PM EDT

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UPDATE: Here’s the text from the press release, officially announcing word of the agreement between the two sides:

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.”

11:08 PM: Whoa. Dennis K. Berman of the Wall Street Journal reports that Johnson’s group have agreed to purchase the Dodgers for $2 billion. One would think this offer would be good enough to include the parking lots, right?

The good news is that Dodgers fans will have the most popular sports figure in Los Angeles as part of the new ownership group, but McCourt is going to walk away from this thing filthy, stinkin’ rich.

11:06 PM: It’s Showtime.

Details are scarce at the moment, but Ken Gurnick of reports that the Dodgers have reached an agreement to be sold to the group led by Magic Johnson and longtime MLB and NBA executive Stan Kasten.

MLB owners had approved the groups led by billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, but outgoing owner Frank McCourt has apparently identified Johnson’s group as the winning bidder. No word yet on the exact terms, but most estimates had the sale price to exceed $1.5 billion, which would establish a new record for a North American sports franchise.

  1. crisisofinfinitephils - Mar 28, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    So he’s, in part, keeping the land, put no cash down to buy the team, used the dodgers as an ATM, sucked it dry, and then sells it for 2 billion? Must be nice. We should all fail that well.

  2. captaincanoe - Mar 28, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Mar 28, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    So Frank McCourt buys the Dodgers about 8 years ago, runs the team into the ground and then is forced to sell them and gets $2 billion in return. I’m not an economist and wont ever claim to be the smartest guy around but this doesn’t make much sense to me.

  4. sdelmonte - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Thrilled that the Magic Man got the win (in part because it means that Steven Cohen is still able to be a part owner of the Mets and is therefore first in line to buy outright). But I do hope someone audits all of the finances closely. $2 billion is a lot to promise.

  5. florida727 - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    When you watch baseball on cable, you dream of owning an MLB franchise. When you dream of owning an MLB franchise, you buy a franchise though you know nothing about running an MLB team. When you buy a franchise though you know nothing about running an MLB team, you ruin the MLB franchise. When you ruin the MLB franchise, you find an icon to bail you out. When you find an icon to bail you out, you screw your ex-wife in the divorce proceedings monetarily. Don’t screw your wife in the divorce proceedings monetarily. Get rid of cable. And upgrade to Direct TV.

  6. templarduke - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    As a life long fan of the Dodgers and Magic, I am bleeding Dodger blues now.
    The Dodgers are mortgaged to the hilt, the money lenders have control, and Magic is now a talking head.

  7. sfm073 - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    This is so stupid. It’s great McCourt is gone, but please quit acting like magic is going to run this team. He’s not even the controlling partner. All he’s gonna do is go to the games and smile.

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