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Friday, December 30, 2011

Ross Newhan: Who Needs Another Out of Town Owner?

The Out of Towners? Why, that had Sandy Baron and Sandy Dennis in it…on Sandy Koufax’s birthday no less!

The latest name to emerge is that of billionaire Steven Cohen—first revealed in the Wall Street Journal and expanded on in Wednesday’s editions of the Los Angeles Times. Cohen, 55, is the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, a Connecticut-based investment firm that controls $14 billion in assets. In September, Forbes estimated Cohen’s net worth at $8.l3 billion. According to multiple sources who talked to me only on the bases of anonymity Thursday, Cohen has built his hedge fund operation on the basis of total control and, at times, a volcanic temper. Two of his former managers have pleaded guilty to insider trading. and the SEC, according to a lawyer involved in the federal investigation of suponeanaed records, confided that the government continues to look into those record but that no charges have been filed against Cohen or his company.

  Since league owners have final say in approving bidders, it isn’t clear whether that investigation will or would create discomfort among owners if Cohen comes up for a vote. It certainly has not stopped Cohen from looking into the possible purchase of the Dodgers. According to The Times’ story he has met with several owners regarding the challenge of owning a sports team, retained Steve Greenberg, the former deputy commissioner and now a sports broker with Allen & Co. in New York and he has been accompanied in his meetings with the owners by noted player agent Arn Tellem, who is based in Los Angeles and could be a potential executive with the Dodgers if Cohen secures the team. Cohen has also retained Populous, a sports architecture firm, to suggest possible changes to Dodger Stadium that would improve comfort and safety.

...Both O’Malley and Gilbert refused comment Thursday, having signed the confidentiality agreement required of potential investors who have received a breakdown of Dodger finances from Blackstone Advisory Partners, the firm handling sale of the club, but the key question is rhetorical anyway. Why go to Connecticut or anywhere else when there are potential and quality owners in the neighborhood?

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 10:20 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, dodgers, history, media

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   1. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 30, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#4026011)
It's not like he's going to move the team, so who really cares? If I was a Dodger fan, I'd be excited about the idea of a mega rich, volcanic-tempered owner. It sounds like he might spend what it takes.
   2. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#4026020)
Newhan is already on record as saying the Dodgers' ownership search "should start and stop with Dennis Gilbert," so this is just a continuation of the theme.

While the news coverage of the Dodgers sale has been outstanding, a lot of the commentary has been bizarre. After debt and insufficient capital sank the McCourts, it seems like guys like Cohen would be welcomed into the bidding. Instead, with few exceptions, the favored sons being hyped up by L.A.-area opinion writers are mostly guys who would need a lot of debt to buy the team.
   3. toratoratora Posted: December 31, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#4026210)
Isn't there someone on these boards beholden to the theory that Bud prefers guys with lots of debt and little money-that way they will be less willing to go all 70's Steinbrenner and ruin the salary structure?
   4. Bases of Anonymity (Zeyes) Posted: December 31, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#4026319)
Well, there's a user handle for this lurker...

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