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Added September 2nd, 2011 by Chalk

McCourt Offered $1.2 Billion For Dodgers

Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has received a $1.2 billion bid for the team from a group backed by investment banks owned by the Chinese government, according to the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. The offer would be nearly 50% more than the current Major League record $845 million the Chicago Cubs sold for two years ago.

McCourt bought the team for $430 million in 2004. The Dodgers declared bankruptcy earlier this year, and Major League Baseball and the Commissioner’s Office have tried to wrest control of the team from McCourt. MLB and others are said to be highly skeptical of the reported offer. “There are questions within the sports industry about whether this is a genuine offer,” the LA Times quotes one industry consultant.

Part of the reason for the skepticism is that two years ago, McCourt tried unsuccessfully to get $150 million from Chinese investors for stakes in the Dodgers and a Beijing soccer team. If the deal were to go through Asian involvement wouldn’t be unprecedented, as Japanese investors have a stake in the Seattle Mariners.

The group that bid $1.2 billion is headed by Bill Burke, the founder of the Los Angeles Marathon. The offer expires in three weeks, and the group hopes to close the deal within three months.

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