(Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers, considered the second-most-valuable team in baseball, sold stakes to the founder of a building materials company and a real-estate investor, adding to the team’s pool of owners.
Robert Plummer, chief executive officer of R.P. Lumber Co. and Alan Smolinisky, a principal at Conquest Housing, have joined the team’s ownership group, the Dodgers said Thursday, without disclosing the size or other terms of the transaction. Bloomberg News reported earlier that the sale of a minority stake had been completed.
The deal 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. Forbes recently put the value of the team at $3.3 billion.
The two new investors to the team are “both civic-minded, accomplished businessmen and lifelong Dodger fans,” Walter, the Dodgers chairman and co-founder of Guggenheim Partners LLC, said in the team’s statement.
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. GSP Securities LLC was the financial adviser to the Dodgers in the stake sale announced Thursday.
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.
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