Investor Tom Barrack, a former USC student, is interested in buying the… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)
Tom Barrack, a former USC rugby player who launched a real estate fund that has expanded into international sports and entertainment investments, is interested in pursuing the Dodgers.
Barrack heads Colony Capital, a Santa Monica firm that controls $34 billion in assets, according to Forbes. Barrack's interest was confirmed by two people familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment.
Owen Blicksilver, a spokesman for Barrack, declined to comment.
The Dodgers reached a legal settlement with Fox Sports on Tuesday night, all but ending months of courtroom battles over the future of the team and setting the stage for a bidding war so spirited that outgoing owner Frank McCourt believes he might fetch double the previous record price for a Major League Baseball franchise.
The Chicago Cubs sold for a record $845 million in 2009.
As the Jan. 23 deadline for opening bids approaches, the Dodgers have offered stadium tours to prospective owners. Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso joined partner and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, as did representatives of Steven Cohen, the Connecticut hedge-fund titan.
Magic Johnson entertained his partner in bidding for the Dodgers, former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten, at Tuesday's Lakers game at Staples Center.
In 2005, Fortune called Barrack "the world's greatest real estate investor," but his financial interests have broadened beyond property since then. Colony helped Michael Jackson stave off the foreclosure of Neverland Ranch and led a deal to buy Miramax films.
Colony formerly controlled, and retains an ownership stake in, French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain. In a 2010 profile of Barrack, New York magazine noted Colony would explore investments in "private TV channels" and "sports stadiums."
The sale of the Dodgers includes ownership of Dodger Stadium and the opportunity to launch a Dodgers TV channel.
Colony also has investments in gaming, an association that MLB generally frowns upon.
Colony offered bankruptcy financing to McCourt in June, according to court testimony. McCourt declined.