The Marlins are negotiating with the Jeb Bush/Derek Jeter and Tagg Romney/Tom Glavine/Dave Stewart groups and intend to sell the team to one of those groups “in the coming weeks,” Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes in a detailed report about the status of the sale. (We encourage you to give it a click; especially for stories like these that revolve around events that take place entirely away from the baseball field, firsthand reporting is crucial.) Other recent stories about the sale have characterized negotiations as fraught, suggesting either that potential owners have backed away after examining the team’s financials, or that the Bush/Jeter group in particular did not have the capital necessary to complete the deal. According to Jackson, though, current owner Jeffrey Loria remains “fully committed” to selling the team, and the team is “optimistic” a deal will happen.
The Bush/Jeter group is currently a “slight favorite,” Jackson writes, although the Romney/Glavine/Stewart group is still a real possibility. Both groups have told the Marlins that they and their investors have enough money to make the deal (contrary, perhaps, to a recent report suggesting the Jeter/Bush group did not have the necessary funds to make a $1.3B bid), although neither group’s investors have formally submitted partnership agreements that are required by the league.
Jackson explains that, according to a source close to Bush, the Bush/Jeter group has a number of verbal agreements with investors that would give it the money necessary to buy the team. The winning bid might require $800MM-$850MM in equity (with the rest of the sale total being financed through debt), plus an additional $200MM or so to pay to run the team (presumably meaning paying for player salaries and other significant expenses in the period shortly after the sale). The Romney/Glavine/Stewart bid was slightly higher than the Bush/Jeter bid, Jackson writes, although a source tells him that other factors make the two bids approximately the same.
Jackson also adds that Joe Molloy, briefly a managing general partner of the Yankees and formerly George Steinbrenner’s son-in-law, has also been trying to get involved in the bidding for the Marlins. His group has not yet made a bid, however. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross never made any bid to buy the Marlins, contrary to a previous report, Jackson writes.