Los Angeles Dodgers Send Bidders to Baseball Owner Committee for Approval

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished reviewing a second round of offers for the professional baseball team and submitted the remaining bidders to Major League Baseball officials for approval.

The team’s financial adviser, Blackstone Advisory Partners LP, notified the suitors who made the cut that their Feb. 23 offers will be sent to the MLB Ownership Committee.

Owner Frank McCourt agreed to sell the bankrupt team after winning concessions from MLB that included advanced approval of potential buyers and the appointment of a retired federal judge to mediate disputes about the sale.

The team “is pleased with the momentum that continues to be generated in the sales process and is confident that the sales process will maximize the value of the debtors’ estate,” the Dodgers said today in an e-mailed statement. The team has not made public any of the bidders’ names.

The Dodgers may sell for $1 billion or more, the team said in a court filing last year. The sale is required to be completed by the end of April.

The process approved by the judge overseeing the team’s bankruptcy, reduces the influence baseball Commissioner Bud Selig can wield over the sale by requiring mediation for disputes and by requiring pre-approval for bidders.

Under a normal sale process, a team owner finds a potential purchaser, and afterward asks MLB to approve the buyer, the price and the terms. Details governing the approval are normally kept secret, even from the buyer.

With the Dodgers, MLB will, for the first time, let bidders know some details about how it will approve or reject them, according to court documents.

The case is In re Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, 11-12010, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at schurch3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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