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Los Angeles Dodgers Complete Minority Stake Sale

Scott Soshnick
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Los Angeles Dodgers Sell Stakes to Plummer, Smolinisky

(Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers, considered the second-most-valuable team in baseball, have completed the sale of a minority stake, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person, who asked not to be named because the sale is private, didn’t disclose the size of the stake or the buyer. Forbes recently put the value of the team at $3.3 billion.

The sale concludes an effort that began in 2017. Dodgers Chief Executive Officer Stan Kasten said at the time the organization regularly received inquiries from parties interested in joining owners who include Mark Walter, Todd Boehly, Magic Johnson and Peter Guber.

Because of mushrooming franchise values across all major U.S. sports, owners have found it increasingly difficult to sell shares, many of which come with no board seat or say in how teams are run. The National Basketball Association is mulling the creation of a new vehicle that could purchase passive, minority ownership interests in its teams.

The Dodgers’ valuation benefits from a rich local TV deal, making them second only to the New York Yankees, which Forbes valued at $4.6 billion. Time Warner Cable, acquired by Charter Communications Inc. in 2016, bought the team’s broadcast rights in 2012 for $8.3 billion over 25 years. Team valuations have been rising in all sports, fueled by media deals that have only gotten bigger.

The current owners acquired the team for $2.15 billion in 2012.

Even with a whopping price tag, there probably is no dearth of prospective investors for the Dodgers, a marquee, global brand. Things are good on the field, too, for the Dodgers, who have reached the World Series the past two seasons and have a National League-best 98 wins this year.

The team also leads all of baseball in attendance, drawing an average of more than 49,000 fans per game.

The Dodgers didn’t respond to requests for comment. Major League Baseball would have to approve the transaction.

(Adds standings, attendance in final three paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob Golum

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