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Mark Cuban says he'd be interested in buying the Dodgers

Cuban says he'd base a decision on his ability to buy a controlling share as part of an ownership group. The Dodgers are not for sale, but the McCourt divorce raises questions about team's future.

November 10, 2009|Bill Shaikin

Mark Cuban, the high-profile owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, said Monday he would consider adding the Dodgers to his portfolio.

As the unusually public Dodgers' divorce saga plays out, Cuban said he has heard from many Dodgers fans appealing to him to buy the team.

"More than I can count," Cuban wrote in an e-mail.

Frank McCourt contends he is the sole owner of the Dodgers and insists the team is not for sale. Jamie McCourt contends she is a co-owner, and her lawyer has said she has lined up financing for a possible bid to buy out her estranged husband.

Cuban bid unsuccessfully for the Chicago Cubs and has expressed interest in buying his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates. He said his interest in the Dodgers would be conditional on the ability to buy a controlling share as part of an ownership group.

"I'm not a fan of debt-driven acquisitions," Cuban wrote. "If a unique situation came up where I could contribute capital to buy out a majority shareholder and gain control, with existing shareholders or note holders staying in place, I would consider it."

That situation is not currently available with the Dodgers. There are no shareholders outside the McCourt family, according to court documents.

When San Diego Padres owner John Moores and his wife, Becky, entered divorce proceedings, John Moores said he would remain the owner of the team. In order to generate the money to satisfy the divorce settlement, he had to sell the team.

Jeff Moorad led an investment group that agreed last spring to buy the Padres. Moorad has served as chief executive officer since the deal closed in March, although his group initially bought a minority stake. Moores retains majority ownership, and Moorad's group has up to five years to buy out Moores in full, according to news reports.

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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