Ricketts seeking investors

Got some extra cash? The family chosen by Tribune Co. to buy the Cubs in a $900 million deal is seeking investors willing to pay $25 million for a preferred share of the team.

Chicago investment banker Tom Ricketts is seeking investors in an effort to raise at least $100 million toward the team’s purchase price, according to the Associated Press.

Ricketts is founder and chief executive of InCapital LLC and his billionaire family founded the Omaha, Neb.-based, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. Tribune Co. selected the family’s bid Jan. 22 for exclusive negotiations for the Cubs. The sale would include Wrigley Field and a 25 percent interest in a regional sports network.

Any sale must be approved by baseball owners.

Investors being sought by Ricketts would hold a preferred share in the team and sit on an advisory board, but would not make any management decisions, according to the person familiar with the deal.

Now more than a century removed from their last World Series title, the Cubs were purchased by Tribune Co. from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for $20.5 million in June 1981. Tribune Co. put the team on the market on Opening Day 2007, when real estate mogul Sam Zell agreed to buy the media conglomerate.

Tribune filed for bankruptcy in December. The company — owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and other dailies — is selling off assets as it seeks to raise cash to deal with debt.

— Carrie Muskat

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