Friday, August 21, 2009

Tribune Finalizes Sale Of Cubs To Ricketts Family

By: Mike Colias

(Crain’s) – Tribune Co. made it official Friday, announcing an $800 million deal to sell the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet to the Ricketts family.

Tribune will retain a 5% stake in the assets, as expected, which means the overall transaction is valued at about $845 million, Tribune said.

“Our family is thrilled to have reached an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs, one of the most storied franchises in sports," Joe Ricketts, family patriarch and founder of T.D. Ameritrade, said in a statement. "The Cubs have the greatest fans in the world, and we count our family among them. We look forward to closing the transaction so that we can begin leading the Cubs to a World Series title.”

The two sides reached a tentative agreement in January, but the deal was thrown into question last month when Tribune re-opened talks with the runner-up bidding group. Tribune first put the franchise on the selling block in the spring of 2007.

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