Moores-Moorad sale talks ongoing
Monday, February 2, 2009
Padres owner John Moores and potential buyer Jeff Moorad could be close to announcing a definitive sales agreement that could transfer the Padres to Moorad's group by the middle of the month.
Several sources told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday that representatives of Moores and Moorad were negotiating the sale through the weekend, although Moorad's “exclusive negotiating period” expired Saturday.
The agreement, which sources said could be signed this week, calls for cash and an assumption of debt. The selling price will include the total of that debt.
The total cost of the sale, which includes the Padres' interest in Petco Park, should top $400 million.
Sources earlier told the Union-Tribune that John and Becky Moores, who are going through a divorce, will get at least $80 million in cash as part of the sale.
They also will be relieved of $200 million in debt related mostly to the construction of Petco Park. About $140 million of stadium bond debt is set at an 8 percent interest rate that cannot be prepaid.
The sources did not know whether John Moores would retain an ownership interest in the “small but significant” group being put together by Moorad, who earlier said he would have the largest financial stake in the Padres if the sale is completed.
Moores paid about $84 million in 1994 when he purchased the Padres from a group led by Hollywood television producer Tom Werner.
Neither the Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks nor Major League Baseball commented Monday on the progress of the talks between the Mooreses and Moorad's group.
Moorad resigned as Managing Partner and CEO of the Diamondbacks on Jan. 3 after reaching an agreement in principle to buy the Padres.
Given the Moores divorce, other minor interests in the Padres' present ownership, the interests and debts in Petco Park and the fact that Moorad represents a group, several sources told the Union-Tribune that the “definitive agreement” is complicated and layered.
Following the signing of the “definitive agreement,” both sides will proceed through a number of steps leading to closing, which could come by the end of the month.
Moorad had been with the Diamondbacks the past 4½ years. For 20 years before that, Moorad was a powerful agent to baseball stars, including Manny Ramirez, Will Clark, Ivan Rodriguez and Mo Vaughn. Moorad also is a partner in a group that owns a NASCAR racing team.
“It's a jewel of a franchise,” Moorad said of the Padres in January after acquiring exclusive negotiating rights for his “West Coast group with representation from the San Diego area.” Moorad is a longtime resident of Newport Beach and has strong ties to Orange County.
One source said there was an 80-20 chance the sale would soon be finalized.”Staff writers Tim Sullivan and Tom Krasovic contributed to this report.
Play Ball !!!