Sale of Cubs Further Delayed?

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the sale of the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts Family “will not be completed by the owners’ meeting” on May 20-21. The Tribune cited unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations.

Despite good intentions on both sides, the transaction will not completed by the owners’ meeting, said sources familiar with the negotiations. But a second blown deadline is not an indication that the deal is in trouble, sources said. One person who asked not be identified said the sale is “proceeding slowly but proceeding.

Spokesmen for the Ricketts Family and the Tribune Co. declined comment.

While many are rightfully focused on the inconsistent season of Lou Piniella’s Cubs, the sale of the team must be completed soon.

Sources blamed the slow pace of negotiations on several factors. The double whammy of a recession and a financial-sector meltdown has made it difficult for the Ricketts to secure financing. The family raised $400 million for the deal by selling personal stock holdings and planned to borrow the rest.

According to the Tribune, “both sides are reluctant to put a timetable on completing the deal.” Baseball owners are not scheduled to meet again until August.

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