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Buyout Billionaire Alec Gores Said to Prepare Offer for Dodgers

A file photo of Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.  Photographer: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
A file photo of Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Photographer: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Alec Gores is preparing a bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the event the current owners’ divorce forces them to seek a buyer, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

Gores, who made his fortune in leveraged buyouts, may try to purchase the Major League Baseball team with his brother, Tom Gores, also a billionaire, or join an investment group, said the person, who sought anonymity because the plans aren’t public. Details of a possible offer weren’t available.

The Dodgers are drawing interest from some of the richest Los Angeles residents as a community property dispute between Frank and Jamie McCourt winds through the courts. Dennis Wasser, an attorney for Frank McCourt, said in a September interview he didn’t believe it was possible for the two to continue jointly owning the team if a recent property ruling is upheld.

Frank McCourt, who divorced from Jamie in November, ending a 31-year marriage, is fighting a Dec. 7 state Superior Court decision in Los Angeles that invalidated his claim to sole ownership of the team. Another hearing is planned tomorrow.

Alec Gores, 57, chief executive officer of Gores Technology Group in Los Angeles, declined to comment on the Dodgers, said Terry Fahn, a spokesman at Sitrick & Co. His company’s investments include a 75 percent stake in Westwood One Inc., the radio programmer, and Alliance Entertainment, a DVD distributor.

Mark Barnhill, a spokesman for Tom Gores’s Platinum Equity, declined to comment.

Forbes magazine in October estimated Alec Gores’s fortune at $1.7 billion and his brother’s at $2.4 billion.

Steve Sugerman, a spokesman for Frank McCourt, said the team isn’t for sale.

Valued at $727 Million

The Dodgers were valued at $727 million by Forbes in April 2010. The publication said the Dodgers are the fourth-most-valuable baseball team.

Jamie McCourt is working on her own bid for the team with a number of people, David Boies, her attorney, said in December. The McCourts bought the team for $421 million in 2004, including $330 million in debt, Frank McCourt has testified.

Alan Casden, a Los Angeles billionaire who made his fortune in real estate, will bid if the team becomes available, according to a person with knowledge of the developer’s plans. The person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. Casden has a net worth of $1.85 billion, Forbes reported.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who bid for the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, said in 2009 he would be interested in the Dodgers. He declined to comment in an e-mail.

Steve Garvey, a Dodgers first baseman for 14 years, told the Los Angeles Times in a Dec. 9 story that he has an investment group ready to buy the team.

The case is McCourt v. McCourt, BD514309, Los Angeles County Superior Court (Los Angeles).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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