The bankrupt Tribune Company has finalized its deal to sell the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts family, more than six months after the two struck an initial agreement, Reuters reported. The amount is slightly less than the $900 million the local financier and the newspaper publisher initially agreed on, the news service said, citing an unidentified source.
Before the economy turned significantly sour last fall, the major league teams assets—which include Wrigley Field and a 25-percent stake in a Chicago regional sports network—were said to be worth $1 billion. Despite Tribune’s troubles this past year, the Cubs franchise was not included in Tribunes bankruptcy filing last November.
—No balk: The deal was held up because Tribune and the Ricketts had difficulty coming to terms on broadcast contracts. The Ricketts also began to have trouble getting financing. When it looked like the Ricketts might balk, Tribune got them back to the table when the publisher revisited negotiations with PE investors Marc Utay and Leo Hindery, who is also behind the Journalism Online venture.
By David Kaplan