5/30 Cubs sale update
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Tom Ricketts, who is leading his family’s bid to buy the Cubs from the Tribune Co., is closer to sealing the deal than recent reports suggest.
There was believed to be some disagreement over the terms of the team’s broadcast contract with Tribune’s WGN network that left the two sides as much as $50 million apart on the nearly $900-million deal.
Sources now tell Crain’s that both sides have made concessions on some of the key sticking points. The Ricketts family has had exclusive talks with the Tribune re: the sale since January.
The financing appears to be in place. J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Corp. and Bank of America Corp. have agreed in principle to loan the Ricketts family about $350 million, and Crain’s has learned that draft commitment letters are expected to be signed by next week. The balance of the funding will come from a $100-million private placement of notes and $403 million in cash the family generated when it sold stock of TD Ameritrade in February.
— Carrie Muskat