According to a report from Patrick Mooney, the Ricketts family has sold minority ownership shares to six investors that includes South Bend Cubs owner Andrew Berlin.
Major League Baseball has approved the sale of the shares into the Ricketts family’s holding company. The Cubs reportedly completed the deals late last week.
The non-controlling interest “doesn’t come with a seat on the team’s board of directors” according to the report but will be part “new advisory board.” The Ricketts family will still make the decisions for the team with Theo Epstein and Crane Kenney in charge of the baseball side and business side of the Cubs.
Andrew Berlin is the only known investor right now. Berlin also owns shares in the White Sox. Patrick Mooney reported that Berlin “is said to be restructuring his White Sox investment, keeping a financial commitment while cutting himself off from the franchise’s information flow.”
Mooney explained that two of his sources indicated Warren Buffett is not one of the five unknown investors. The other five investors “are said to be individuals or families – some with Chicago ties – and not a major corporate entity or media partner.”
The Ricketts family was reportedly looking to sell around 20 percent of the team in order to help fund the Wrigley Field Restoration and Expansion Project. According to Patrick Mooney, the “estimated ownership stake would be less than 10 percent of the franchise’s overall projected value.”
The Sports Business Journal reported in October the Cubs were worth $2 billion, more than double what the Ricketts family paid for 95 percent of the team, Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet in 2009.
According to the report from Comcast SportsNet, Forbes valued the Cubs at $1.2 billion last year “but the Cubs worked from their own internal projections, which figure to be even more aggressive and optimistic that those Forbes calculations.”
Patrick Mooney’s report did not place a value on the minority ownership shares the Ricketts family sold.
The Cubs have not announced selling minority ownership into the franchise. Tom Ricketts should address the matter Wednesday when he talks to reporters in Mesa after the morning meeting with the team.
- Full Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Andrew Berlin Purchases Minority Ownership Stake in the Chicago Cubs (Feb. 21)