Blackstone To Lead Dodgers Sale

Nov 2 2011 | 9:06am ET

One alternative investments giant was stymied in its relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but another has gotten an even bigger job.

The Blackstone Group, earlier pushed for by the baseball team to sell its media rights and restructure its liabilities, has now been tapped to manage the sale process, the Dodgers and Major League Baseball said in a statement. The deal, struck last night, ends a two-year legal battle in which baseball has sought to force current owner Frank McCourt to sell the team.

Blackstone will sell not only the team, but also its home, Dodger Stadium, and the parking lots surrounding it. During McCourt's seven-year tenure at the head of the Dodgers, those three assets were split into separate companies that he levered to the hilt.

"The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that they have agreed today to a court-supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designed to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner, Frank McCourt," the statement read.

McCourt's troubles began when he fired his wife Jamie as the team's CEO and filed for divorce. Jamie McCourt claims to own half of the team.

Things only got worse after a San Francisco Giants fan was seriously beaten in a Dodger Stadium parking lot. MLB accused McCourt of skimping on security costs and "looting" almost $200 million of team revenue for his own use.

Both sides have since traded a slew of inflammatory accusations, culminating in baseball's refusal to approve the Dodger's sale of their television rights for 17 years for $3 billion. Baseball also successfully prevented the Dodgers from accepting a $150 million loan from Highbridge Capital Management.


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