Photographer: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Jeb Bush Joins Former Rivals to Beat Derek Jeter’s Marlins Bid

  • Former Florida governor backed out of Jeter partnership in May
  • Group led by ex-Yankee captain still bidding, seeking capital

Jeb Bush has joined forces with Tagg Romney and Wayne Rothbaum to make a bid of more than $1.1 billion for the Miami Marlins, according to people with knowledge of the situation, an offer that threatens Derek Jeter’s hope of landing the baseball team.

Until a month ago, the former Florida governor and the ex-Yankee captain were partners in a winning $1.3 billion bid for the team, beating out an offer from Quogue Capital founder Rothbaum and another from Romney, co-founder of Solamere Capital and Mitt’s son. But the Bush-Jeter group struggled to finance the bid, and Bush pulled out of the process when Jeter declared his desire to control both business and baseball operations.

In the latest configuration, Bush adds his national profile to the deep pockets of Rothbaum and Romney, who will provide the bulk of the capital, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because the process is private. The group also has signed commitment letters from limited partners and is seeking to close the deal before the MLB trade deadline, July 31.

Jeter is still seeking investors separately. Florida tycoon Jorge Mas is also considering a bid, according to the Miami Herald.

Wayne Katz, an attorney representing the Marlins, didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment. Romney and Rothbaum didn’t return voicemails left at their respective offices. Bush did not respond to a request for comment via email.

The Marlins owner, New York art dealer Jeffrey Loria, is seeking about $1.3 billion for the team. He bought the club in 2002 for $158 million.

The process dates to February, when members of Jared Kushner’s family engaged in talks to buy the franchise. The Kushners abandoned their pursuit of the team, which will host next month’s All-Star game.

Any sale would require the approval of Major League Baseball. Following the bankruptcies of the Dodgers and Rangers, MLB won’t let teams carry too much debt, which is why the Marlins’ bid groups must raise so much cash.

— With assistance by Jennifer Jacobs

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