He's Out: Cohen Loses Dodgers Bidding

Mar 28 2012 | 3:20am ET

Steven Cohen will have to keep his day job.

The hedge fund billionaire was rebuffed yesterday in his bid to buy baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers. Instead of the SAC Capital Advisors founder, outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt picked a group led by Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson.

The Johnson group—whose primary backing comes from Guggenheim Partners and CEO Mark Walter—agreed to pay $2 billion for the team, smashing the record for a North American sports franchise set when Stephen Ross bought the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion.

News that Cohen's bid, backed by Los Angeles' richest man, had failed came just hours after he, along with the Johnson group and another group led by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, were approved by Major League Baseball to buy the team. Cohen has long been seen as a front-runner to buy the team, and seemed to pull ahead of the Johnson group a week ago when he added Patrick Soon-Shiong, L.A.'s wealthiest man, to his group. Johnson's group had also sought to add Soon-Shiong, in part to counter Cohen's cash-heavy offer for the team.

It is unclear what Cohen's final offer for the Dodgers was; earlier this month, it was said to be about $1.6 billion. All told, Cohen was prepared to spend almost $2 billion to buy the Dodgers and renovate their stadium, primarily with cash.

Instead, Cohen will have to be satisfied with the roughly 4% stake in the New York Mets, his favorite team, he purchased earlier this year.

The Johnson group's bid must still be approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge.

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