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Magic Johnson Group Makes Cut for Dodgers, L.A. Times Says

Bidding groups led by Magic Johnson and Joe Torre are among those selected as candidates to acquire Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The finalists will be notified by Blackstone Advisory Partners, the investment bank handling the sale for owner Frank McCourt, the team said in a statement yesterday.

“The preliminary round of bidding has underscored the robust nature of the sales process,” the Dodgers said in the statement.

About 10 groups, including one headed by hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, advanced to the second round of bidding, the Times said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the process.

Other approved bidders include basketball Hall of Famer Johnson, who is partnered with former baseball executive Stan Kasten; Torre, former manager of the Dodgers, who has joined real estate developer Rick Caruso; and a group led by cable investor Leo Hindery and New York financier Marc Utay.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban won’t be included in the next round, the Times said, citing the person familiar. Cuban didn’t answer e-mails seeking comment by Bloomberg News.

The Dodgers have debts of about $570 million, the team said in a disclosure statement filed with its plan of reorganization earlier this month.

The team received several bids of more than $1 billion, which would set a record for the purchase of a baseball club, the Times said.

McCourt will name the winning bidder by April 1 with the sale to be completed by April 30, the Times said. McCourt owes his ex-wife Jamie a $131 million payment by May 1, the Times said.

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