Monday, September 15, 2008

Sources: Cuban out

Multiple sources tell Chi-ball that Mark Cuban is out in his bid to buy the Chicago Cubs.

Here is what we are hearing:

Cuban was reported to have bid 1.3 billion. We have been told Cuban’s actual bid was 1 bil. There was an offer to include 300 million in advertising to WGN, owned by the Tribune. That is how the 1.3 figure came about.

Tom Ricketts is now far and away the “leader in the clubhouse”. His bid is not only sufficient, but sources believe he is much more likely to be approved than a Cuban bid.

Cuban was contacted by local businessman and bidder Jim Anixter’s son to engage Cuban in partnership after Anixter’s bid failed, to give Cuban the local ties to Chicago he lacked.

It is believed by these sources that Zell has used Cuban all along to increase the bidding. The orchestration could have gone as far as inviting Cuban to sit next to Sam Zell’s right-hand man Gerry Spector at a Cubs game in the Tribune seats. A source is quoted as saying “If Mark Cuban didn’t exist, Sam Zell would have made someone like him up, he was a dream come true.”"Cuban is not only out of it, he was never in it.”

The source went on to say that the John Canning group was a favorite of the commissioner’s office but wouldn’t meet the price Ricketts and Cuban went to. The major league owners group however, intimated to Zell they would never approve Cuban. The fact is Jerry Reinsdorf still has great influence over the majority of baseball’s owners.

Here is some info on Ricketts:

Job: Chief Executive of Incapital LLC, a Chicago investment bank that packages corporate bonds for retail investors.
Age: 42
Residence: Wilmette
Education: University of Chicago, BA, MBA
Bio: Former pit trader met his wife at Wrigley Field. Formed Incapital with partners in 1999 to give retail investors an easy way to buy bonds. Son of J. Joe Ricketts, Omaha founder of what is now online broker TD Ameritrade. Brother Pete lost a bid for U.S. Senator from Nebraska in 2006. Strength of bid comes from family war chest Forbes estimates at $2.6 billion.

Original here

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