The Tribune-Cubs Sale Has Nine Lives

Yesterday, Matt Snyder informed that the Cubs sale was nearing to a close; the Tribune Company was moving toward selecting a final bidder, and the long, merciless, Mark Cuban-infused process was soon to be over. Hooray.

And that's all true ... sort of. The problem with the sale being "finalized" is that final, in this case, isn't really final at all. From Forbes:

Declaring a winner is still premature. With Tribune operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a final deal has to be approved by a judge, who would be first obliged to seek out any further bids. That would give each of the two "losers" a final shot at raising their offers. "Everyone will get a second bite at the apple," says sports investment banker Sal Galatioto, who is representing Ricketts. Galatioto confirmed that any final sale will undoubtedly include Wrigley Field and the Cubs' 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the local sports cable channel.

What's good for Tribune is that, in a down economy, demand for the Cubs is still inelastic, meaning that even if the rest of baseball falls prey to economic apocalypse, the lovable losers will still be worth their weight in gold bullion. (Confession: I have no idea what gold bullion actually is.) What's bad for Tribune is that turning the sale over to a bankruptcy judge means ceding control over the bidding process, and letting other bidders back in the game.

So, you know, if you still want to bid on the Cubs, have at it. I'm cracking my piggybank as we speak.

The Tribune-Cubs Sale Has Nine Lives originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:40:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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