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Dodgers receive more than 10 opening bids for the team

Those submitting bids include Magic Johnson, Mark Cuban, Peter O'Malley and Joe Torre. Sources say that St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has explored whether to bid.

January 23, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • As expected, those involved in groups bidding for the Dodgers on Monday included (from left) Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Lakers great Magic Johnson, former Dodgers manager Joe Torre and former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.
As expected, those involved in groups bidding for the Dodgers on Monday… (Photos by Los Angeles Times…)

The Dodgers received "more than 10" opening bids for the team by Monday's deadline, according to a person familiar with the sale but not authorized to discuss it.

As the bankers handling the sale evaluate the bids, prospective buyers can evaluate whether to join forces. In addition, because the bankers can waive the deadline at their discretion, new bidders could emerge.

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has explored whether to bid for the Dodgers, two people familiar with the sale process said Monday. It is uncertain whether Kroenke has submitted an offer. Rams spokesman Ted Crews did not return messages Monday night.

Outgoing owner Frank McCourt expects the Dodgers to sell for at least $1.5 billion.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban submitted a bid by Monday's deadline, as did East Coast hedge fund giant Steven Cohen and former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.

Several groups also turned in bids, including those involving Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten; Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre; Los Angeles investor Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney; and former agent Dennis Gilbert and Los Angeles investors Jason Reese and Randy Wooster.

The Wall Street Journal reported that New York investors Leo Hindery and Marc Utay submitted a joint bid. Hindery and Utay tried unsuccessfully for the Chicago Cubs.

The opening bids are not binding. As a result, according to sports business consultant Marc Ganis, a prospective owner might offer more money now than he might realistically be willing to spend.

"You'd want to bid higher to make sure you get into the next round," Ganis said.

Ganis said bidders are considering partnerships not only to pool money but to enhance the expertise among groups by pairing, say, a sports executive with a financier. O'Malley and Gold have discussed such a partnership. Los Angeles financier Tom Barrack, whose Colony Capital has invested in a Japanese baseball team and a French soccer club, could join one of several groups.

"It's very fluid right now," said a sports investment banker who could not be identified because of his involvement in the sale process. "A lot of the guys that made a bid haven't figured out where the money is coming from."

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

twitter.com/BillShaikin

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