Dodgers-Highbridge Loan OKed

Jun 29 2011 | 11:03am ET

The Los Angeles Dodgers will get their loan, which the baseball team needs to make payroll tomorrow, from Highbridge Capital Management.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware approved the loan after the Dodgers and Major League Baseball reach an accord of their own, after the latter had initially opposed the Highbridge loan. MLB offered its own debtor-in-possession financing to the team after the Dodgers claimed the loan from the Highbridge Principal Strategies fund was the only immediate financing available.

Baseball did win several concessions on the Highbridge loan, a one-year DIP paying at least 10% interest. A $4.5 million commitment fee was cut to $250,000 and deadlines mandating the sale of the team's broadcasting rights were eliminated.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy on Monday after MLB rejected a proposed 17-year television deal worth $3 billion. Much of those proceeds were to go to settling owner Frank McCourt's divorce with former Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt, which made the deal contrary to the team's best interests, according to baseball.

The Dodgers plan to try to sell the TV rights again in bankruptcy.

The team will have access to $60 million immediately to help it meet nearly $40 million in financial obligations at the end of the week. The remaining $90 million in the credit facility is deferred, pending another court hearing next month.

Despite consenting to the loan, MLB is likely to file a motion to seize the team from McCourt, the Associated Press reports. Commissioner Bud Selig in April took over day-to-day control of the team.


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