U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross of Delaware has given his approval to the Los Angeles Dodgers' plan to sell the team to Magic Johnson’s group for $2 billion.
The decision allows the team to exit bankruptcy, but came over the objections of Major League Baseball, which had questions about the financing and other aspects of the deal.
The reorganization plan approved late Friday calls for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to sell the team for $2 billion to Guggenheim Baseball Management, of which the former Los Angeles Laker star is one of several partners. Mark Walter, chief executive of the Guggenheim Partners financial services firm, will become the controlling owner. The team will be run by former Atlanta Braves president Stan Kasten.
"All the organization's goals in the reorganization cases have been achieved. We look forward to returning all of our attention to Dodger baseball," the team said in a statement..
The sale is set to close by April 30, when McCourt is required make a $131 million divorce settlement payment to former wife Jamie McCourt. The Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in June after baseball Commissioner Bud Selig refused to approve a new TV deal with Fox Sports that the team was counting on to make payroll and pay the bills.
In addition to Guggenheim Baseball paying $2 billion for the team, the agreement calls for McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers to form a separate joint venture. The joint venture will acquire the Chavez Ravine property on which Dodgers Stadium and the parking lots are located for an additional $150 million.
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