2017-08-11 20:11:02
Group Including Derek Jeter Said to Reach Agreement to Buy Marlins

20:11, August 11 122 0

The owner of the Miami Marlins has agreed to sell the team for $1.17 billion to an ownership group led by the venture capitalist Bruce Sherman and the former Yankees star Derek Jeter serving as a partner and the head of baseball operations.

The sale, first reported by The Miami Herald, was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the deal who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about it.

The Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria engaged in an unusually lengthy and public bidding process before settling on Sherman and Jeter, who would achieve a longstanding goal to own a team — at least partly, in this case.

Until recently, Jeter had insisted on being the leading bidder despite not having the largest amount of money invested, the source said. But Jeter relented to Sherman being the so-called control person, allowing the deal to move forward.

Jeter is expected to control the player-development side of the organization. He becomes one of the few former players to own a professional sports team after retirement. Michael Jordan, who owns the N.B.A.’s Charlotte Hornets, is also a part of the ownership group.

Major League Baseball owners will meet next week in Chicago, but are not expected to vote on the agreement because they will not have had enough time to evaluate it. Their next opportunity to vote on it will be in October.

In May, the baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, acknowledged two groups were bidding for the Marlins – one led by Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and the other led by Tagg Romney, managing partner of Solamere Capital and son of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

But since then Jeter and Bush had a falling out, leading Bush to join Romney’s group. One of Miami’s most prominent businessmen, Jorge Mas, a leader of the movement against the Castro regime in Cuba, also entered the bidding, complicating baseball’s efforts to get the team sold.

It appears they were unsuccessful in the lure of Sherman’s money and Jeter’s prestige.

Sherman, 69, co-founded the asset management firm Private Capital Management, based in Naples, Fla., in 1986. He retired in 2009, after Private Capital lost large sums from its bets on newspapers stocks, and in Bear Stearns’s collapse.

Loria, 76, has owned the Marlins since 2002. He had previously owned the Montreal Expos, but, in a complicated and controversial move, sold the team to the 29 other M.L.B. owners and bought the Marlins for $158.5 million from John Henry. Henry then bought the Boston Red Sox.

The Marlins won the World Series in Loria’s second year of ownership, but have not returned to the playoffs since. The team consistently ranks near the bottom of the league in both payroll and attendance.

But the team is still an attractive target, both because of the growing value of teams across professional sports, and because it moved into a new stadium in 2012, financed primarily by Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami.