The Marlins sale situation continues to evolve behind the scenes. Charlie Gasparino and Brian Schwartz of FOX Sports have the latest update of the efforts of current owner Jeffrey Loria to cash in on his investment.
Most notably, per the report, the bidding group led by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush is “experiencing some difficulties” arranging the needed cash. Together, those two high-profile investors are set to chip in only $50MM, a long ways shy of the total equity required here.
One issue, it seems, is that the amount of cash required may have grown. Jeter and Bush were said to be looking to compile around $900MM total to meet MLB’s debt ratio requirements. Financing was also contemplated for the reported $1.3B offer amount, though that number might also be reduced by the team’s apparent $400MM operating debt. Now, there’s said to be a preference on the league side that a new owner have “as much as $500MM more as a cash cushion” to account for “the dire financial condition of the Marlins.”
Under these circumstances, it seems there’s some room for the bidding group led by Tagg Romney (with Tom Glavine also a factor) to become a bigger factor. That group reportedly remains in the picture despite prior indications that the sale was heading toward Jeter and Bush. In particular, Romney’s team seems to have better prospects for increasing the volume of cash on hand, which could give them greater appeal to the league.
It’s still not clear, of course, just how things will turn out. A spokesperson for Bush would say only that it is “inaccurate” to suggest that his group’s bid is in jeopardy. There could yet be more back-and-forth to come; interestingly, as Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald notes on Twitter, there’s apparently some bad blood between the two groups of would-be Marlins owners.