Broad would buy team if McCourt deal fails

Updated: January 18, 2004, 5:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

It appears likely the Dodgers will be bought for $430 million, but who'll be doing the spending remains the question.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Eli Broad, a Los Angeles developer and philanthropist, has offered to buy the team for the hefty sum, mostly in cash, if the $430 million bid by Boston developer Frank McCourt falls through, according to a letter from Broad to Fox Group.

McCourt has proposed financing the purchase entirely with loans.

Baseball's ownership committee discussed the $430 million agreement between News Corp. and McCourt on Wednesday and will send a delegation to meet with him in Los Angeles next week.

The committee has been examining the financing for the deal and whether it complies with baseball's rules on the allowable amount of debt, a baseball official said on the condition of anonymity.

McCourt met with several owners last week, and his agreement calls for the sale to close by the end of January. His bid must be approved by three-fourths of the 30 major league owners.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, wouldn't say whether commissioner Bud Selig would call for a vote later this month by telephone conference call.

Fox Group executives were going forward with McCourt's offer and were not pursuing Broad's proposal, a senior company official told The Times on condition of anonymity. Sources within the company told the newspaper they are confident the McCourt sale will be approved.

Baseball officials would not comment on the record in accordance with McCourt's exclusivity rights, but one high-ranking official said the league is familiar with Broad and "it stands to reason he could move through the approval process very quickly if it came to that," the paper reported.

Broad, a founder of the home-builder Kaufman & Broad and the chief of SunAmerica, made his $3.8-billion fortune in real-estate development and in financial services.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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