The owner of the South Bend Cubs, the Low-A affiliate of the Cubs, is now a limited partner in the organization. Andrew Berlin announced Friday that he purchased a minority stake in the Chicago Cubs.
According to a report from WSBT, Berlin confirmed he would not be part of the decision making process of the franchise or the day-to-day operation of the organization.
Andrew Berlin bought the South Bend franchise in 2011 and sold the Cubs on his vision for the team last fall. The Cubs’ front office decided to move the team’s Low-A affiliate from Kane County to South Bend due to the improved facilities that Berlin planned for his team at Four Winds Field.
The Cubs signed a four-year Player Development Contract with South Bend that runs through the 2018 season. And Berlin told WSBT his stake in the Cubs will only make the relationship between South Bend and Chicago stronger.
Andrew Berlin also owns shares in the Chicago White Sox and he spoke with Jerry Reinsdorf about his interest in the Cubs before making the investment. Reinsdorf gave Berlin permission to move forward with the Cubs. And he will continue to own his shares in the White Sox. Berlin now has stock in both of Chicago’s Major League Baseball teams.
According to the Tribune, Major League Baseball permits minority ownership in multiple teams.
Reports surfaced last spring the Ricketts family was exploring options to sell minority shares of the Cubs to help finance the Wrigley Field Restoration and Expansion Project.
The Ricketts family will retain controlling interest in the team, the family plans on owning the Cubs through at least the next generation.
Dennis Culloton, Ricketts family spokesman, said the family hired Galatioto Sports Partners to facilitate the sale of the minority shares. GSP is the firm that helped the family purchase the Cubs, and they began talking to possible investors at the time.
The Sports Business Journal reported in October the Cubs were worth $2 billion, more than double what the Ricketts family paid for the franchise in 2009. Last October, the Ricketts family was reportedly close to selling 20 percent, non-controlling, stake in the team that would be valued at around $300 million.
Selling 20 percent of the Cubs would help with the Wrigley Field Restoration and Expansion Project and according to Crain’s Chicago Business at the time, “might ease the weight of the significant debt the Ricketts family took on in its highly leveraged purchase of the franchise.”
According to a report from the Tribune, the Ricketts family is “close to completing deals with other investors. Andrew Berlin is the first limited partner in the Cubs to emerge.”
The Cubs have not announced the sale of minority shares of the team to Andrew Berlin and the Tribune was not able to reach the spokesman for the Ricketts family for confirmation of the sale of the minority stake in the team.
- Full Report from WSBT
- Full Report from the Tribune
- Ricketts Family Exploring Selling Minority Shares of the Cubs (April 3, 2014)
- Ricketts Family Reportedly Close to Selling Minority Stake in the Cubs (Oct. 29, 2014)