Has the Marlins-for-sale process hit a roadblock?
At least two groups that have been trying to buy the South Florida baseball franchise — one that includes retired Yankee captain Derek Jeter and the other led by Tagg Romney — “remain woefully short of collecting enough cash” to purchase the club for the reported $1 billion price tag, according to a Fox Business report Wednesday, although that figure has been reported to be as high as $1.3 billion.
Jeter was paired with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush in a bidding group until late last month when the Daily News confirmed reports that Bush had dropped out of race. The Marlins are currently owned by Manhattan art dealer and businessman Jeffrey Loria. Romney, the son of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is a managing partner at Boston-based investment firm, Solamere Capital and he is paired in a bidding group with Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine and former All-Star pitcher Dave Stewart.
The Fox Business report said that there are “several other investment groups” that have the capital to buy the Marlins, but that they are waiting for Loria to lower his price tag. Loria bought the franchise in 2002 for $158 million, but any purchaser of the Marlins now would have to assume an estimated $400 million in debt, as well as confront annual losses of around $40 million, according to sources.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, meanwhile, reiterated on a SiriusXM broadcast Tuesday that he is “convinced the Marlins are going to sell.”
“People focused on the Jeter group and the Romney group. There are other interested buyers out there. There is by no means just those two. They are the furthest along. They’ve made robust offers, both of them,” said Manfred. “I remain of the view that one of them is probably the most likely to end up as the new owner of the team. Even if it’s not one of those two, I am convinced the Marlins are going to sell.”
The five-year-old Marlins Park will host next month’s All-Star Game.
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