Jeff Moorad will not be owning the San Diego Padres. John Moores who has been working to sell the club, will have to hold on a bit longer and has put the club back up for sale. This time, given the marke,t he likely will not be holding onto the keys as long as he did with Moorad.
Moores, the Padres Chairman, made the announcement yesterday, that the current ownership group will move forward to sell the club. Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company and John Moag of Moag & Company have been retained to advise on the sale of the team and to work with prospective buyers. And while the sale of the Dodgers is not remotely close in scale to that of the Padres, it does show that there’s a hefty want for those looking to get into the game of owning an MLB club. Still, those retained have advised the club that the process could take a number of months.
"Three years ago, I made the difficult decision to sell the club, and I didn't expect to have to make that same decision again," said Moores said in a statement. "I have been honored to own the San Diego Padres and have enjoyed the experience tremendously."
Moores is of course talking of the staggered sale to former agent and CEO of the Padres, Jeff Moorad. In that deal that then had the Padres worth $500 million, Moorad was allowed five years to get it all completed with $100 million for a 35 percent interest provided in 2009 and additional funds to push it to 49 percent in 2010.
But, in January of this year, when the vote to approve Moorad was on the agenda of the owners meetings, it was pulled. The reason? The votes simply weren’t there. In March, Moorad stepped down as CEO and withdrew his application to baseball to finalize his purchase of the club in order to focus on getting MLB's approval for the team's new TV deal with FOX. That media rights deal is reported to be approx. $1.5 billion with $40 million in cash up-frront.
But, what may be closer to reality is that with that pending television deal, along with the increase in the market for MLB clubs, Moores and MLB see value in a clean sale, as well as certainly being able to garner more on the market.
As mentioned, the Padres are not the Dodgers. They will not be fetching $1 billion, let alone $2 billion. But, with the television deal in play, $700 million is within striking distance based on the Astros sale prior and the associated market bump that comes with the Dodgers sale.
When looking at opening a sale up shortly after one has occurred, those that were in the hunt for the Dodgers have to be considered. Stephen Cohen… the O’Malley family… Dennis Gilbert… all are possibilities. Stan Kroenke isn’t likely due to the Dodger deal having associated land attached to it that could have been leveraged for a new NFL stadium.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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