FRIDAY: Jeter’s primary investor is Bruce Sherman, the former chairman of Private Capital Management, reports Heyman. Sherman was previously willing to chip in $200MM to aid Jeter, but he has since increased his commitment by an unknown amount. Jeter would only put $25MM toward a purchase, which could prove to be an obstacle for someone who wants to be the control person of an ownership group, notes Heyman. The retired shortstop’s faction has also received something “tantamount to a loan at a high (14 percent) rate of interest” from Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell Technologies, and Heyman doesn’t believe MLB would sign off on it. Mas, meanwhile, is seeking extra investors in an effort to improve his chances of landing the franchise.
THURSDAY: The Marlins sale process has quieted considerably since it became apparent that a deal wouldn’t be wrapped up before the All-Star Game, as once had been hoped. To this point, three primary bidding groups were said to be vying to purchase the club from Jeffrey Loria.
While there’s still no evident movement toward resolution, that same inaction may have contributed to the loss of one possible buyer. It now seems the Fish are down to two prospective new ownership groups. Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the group that had included Wayne Rothbaum, Jeb Bush, and a host of former players is now out of the hunt. (Previously, that group had lost Tagg Romney but picked up Bush in the ever-changing bidding landscape.)
Rothbaum was the chief investor of that party, and reportedly was willing to lead the charge at a valuation of $1.17B. With that offer apparently waving in the wind, and with no resolution in sight, Rothbaum evidently determined it was no longer worth pursuing the club.
That said, it’s also possible that the Rothbaum group’s bid was never going to be quite to the Marlins’ expectations. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag suggests that the aggregation of would-be owners may have been sitting in a lower range — $1B to $1.1B.
Whatever the case, the chase for the Marlins now seems to be down to two possible bidding groups. One, guided by Miami businessman Jorge Mas, seems to be a fairly straightforward outfit led by one primary investor who’d also be the control person. Per Heyman, Mas remains the “best-financed” pursuer. But there’s still a possibility that MLB legend Derek Jeter could make a deal happen; while it’s somewhat odd that he’d represent the control person, given that he would not be investing a significant portion of any sale price, Jeter (like Mas) is said by Jackson to have “made progress in assembling the financing needed.”