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Banker: Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser have enough financial backing to bid on Dodgers

Darren Lowe of RBC Capital Markets represents the former Dodgers stars and says it's a matter of picking the right partners. Joey Herrick, president of a Pacoima-based pet foods firm, says he is one of the partners.

November 23, 2011|By Bill Shaikin
  • Former Dodgers Steve Garvey, pictured, and Orel Hershiser are among the potential bidders for the Dodgers.
Former Dodgers Steve Garvey, pictured, and Orel Hershiser are among the… (Christina House / For The…)

Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser have attracted more than enough financial backing to bid competitively on the Dodgers, the banker representing the former Dodgers stars said Wednesday.

"It's a matter of picking the partners we want," said Darren Lowe of RBC Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of the Royal Bank of Canada.

For the first time, one of those partners has identified himself. Joey Herrick, president of Pacoima-based Natural Balance Pet Foods, said Wednesday that he has agreed to become a minority investor in the Garvey-Hershiser venture. The primary sources of funding have not been publicly identified.

Lowe, who is based in New York, said legal and financial advisors have worked with Garvey on a "24-7" basis for the last five months. Herrick said Garvey has aligned with sports business executives who could join the Dodgers if the bid were successful, although Herrick would not identify them.

"They're all ready to hit the ground running," Herrick said.

The bidding process is expected to start early next month, when the investment bank representing outgoing owner Frank McCourt distributes preliminary financial information to prospective buyers. Initial offers are expected to be due in January, with the sale targeted for completion in April.

The list of prospective bidders includes Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner and Southern California supermarket magnate Ron Burkle. Baseball executive Dennis Gilbert is assembling an investment group, and former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire is trying to do so as well.

Real estate developer Rick Caruso has talked to former Dodgers manager Joe Torre about an alliance, former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano has expressed interest, and the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that New York "hedge-fund titan" Steven Cohen is interested as well.

Garvey has faced skepticism about whether he can line up the money for a bidding war that is expected to cost more than $1 billion to win. He has a checkered financial history, and his April statement that Burkle would back his bid soon was followed by Garvey's acknowledgment that the two men had no formal agreement.

Said Herrick: "Garvey and Hershiser are the fastest way to bring the fans back and bring a championship back."

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Times columnist T.J. Simers contributed to this report.

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