There has been talk about the heinous Jeffrey Loria selling the Miami Marlins for years, and most of that talk has been put down pretty quickly. But over the last six months or so, talk has picked up, and Loria seems likely to sell the team following this July’s All-Star Game (which will be held at Marlins Park).
The latest round of potential bidders for the Marlins include two household names – Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush. I wonder if that’s the first time the pair have been mentioned in regards to the same story.
According to this report from Fox Business, there’s also at least a third group involved in the bidding to purchase the Marlins.
Former New York Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter has expressed interest in bidding for the team, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. He is being represented in talks with Marlins president David Samson by veteran Wall Street executive and former Morgan Stanley (MS) brokerage chief Gregory Fleming, who now runs his own investment banking boutique, the people say.
Another major contender is a group headed by former Florida Governor and one-time GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who is teaming up with Citigroup (C) to finance a possible official bid, these people add.
The report also claims that my “post-All-Star Game” timeline could be nonsense, and that a deal could be done as early as March. Loria bought the Marlins for $158 million in 2002 as part of a three-way swap also involving his former team, the Montreal Expos, former Marlins owner John Henry, and the team Henry ended up with, the Boston Red Sox.
As for a potential purchase price, FBN has provided a broad estimate of between $800 million and $1.6 billion. Interestingly, that’s just under the $1.7 billion Loria was reportedly seeking for the team last year. Forbes valued the Marlins at $675 million last March, the second lowest mark in baseball ahead of just the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jeter and Bush being linked to a possible purchase isn’t a surprise. Numerous profiles of Jeter leading into his 2014 retirement (and thereafter) have discussed his interest in ownership, while Bush’s brother, President George W. Bush, used to have an ownership stake in the Texas Rangers and has been bandied about a candidate for MLB Commissioner on several occasions.