March 28, 2012 – a group led by Guggenheim Partners and Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, emerged as the winning bidder for the Los Angeles Dodgers (the “Dodgers”, the “franchise”, the “team” or the “club”). The group agreed to purchase the Dodgers and the land surrounding the stadium for $2.15 billion, which includes $2 billion for the club and $150 million for a 50% stake in a real estate joint venture. In aggregate, the deal represents a Total Enterprise Value of $2.3 billion. In 2004, Frank McCourt purchased the storied franchise for $430 million.
The deal value shatters the previous record for a sports franchise and is over 2 ½ times higher than the previous MLB record for a club sale. Steve Ross’ purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago was the previous U.S. sports franchise record, and the prior record for a baseball franchise was the $845 million paid by the Ricketts family for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
Blackstone Advisory Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the Dodgers, led the sale of the club and advised on its Plan of Reorganization. The Blackstone team managed an intense sale process and drove a record price through multiple rounds of bidding by highlighting the value of the iconic franchise and the near term opportunity to monetize the team’s media rights, including the opportunity to create a Dodger-branded Regional Sports Network in Los Angeles, the second largest media market in the U.S.
Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC is the official entity acquiring the Dodgers, which includes Guggenheim CEO Mark R. Walter as its controlling partner, Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly.
The deal team included Peter Cohen, Paul Leong, Kevin Boller, Michael Goldfarb, and Travis Stier from Blackstone Advisory Partners and Timothy Coleman, Flip Huffard, Mark Buschmann, Ken Nguyen, and Daniel Casiero from Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory.