Bob DuPuy, MLB’s President and Chief Operating Officer, has met with the 4 remaining bidders likely to make final offers by the December 1, 2008 deadline imposed by MLB and the Cubs. After the bidders conducting due diligence of the Cubs in September, and after Sam Zell, the current owner of the Cubs, analyzed the offers submitted by the bidders, MLB and the Cubs announced that a second round of offers would need to be submitted by December 1, 2008 in order to be considered for the sale. The minimum bid that can be submitted at this point in the process is $1 billion.
In earlier rounds, it was widely believed that Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, had submitted the highest bid to date, estimated to be $1.3 billion. Earlier this week, however, the SEC announced its intention to pursue a civil proceeding against Cuban involving insider trading of personal stock held by Cuban in the company momma.com. It is unclear how this lawsuit will affect Cuban’s already-shaky standing with MLB (it has been rumored that Commissioner/Dictator Bud Selig will never allow Mark Cuban to own an MLB baseball team on his watch).
Neither MLB nor the Cubs have announced the front-runner for the Cubs sale and they have refused to discuss the specific details about any of the bids. Assuming the quick review of the final bids before the end of the year, the winning bidder could be submitted to MLB ownership committee review and approval when the group meets again in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2009.