Jeb Bush & Derek Jeter Win Bid To Purchase Miami Marlins
A buyers group led by Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter won the auction for the rights to purchase the Miami Marlins professional baseball franchise on Tuesday. The winning bid put the sales price at $1.3 billion according to the Miami Herald.
While neither Bush, Jeter, the Marlins, nor Major League Baseball has confirmed the winning bid, a confirmation is not expected until the deal is a little more finalized.
Winning the auction only means that the winning group can now enter into negotiations with the Marlins and the MLB.
Bush, the former governor of Florida and a former Presidential candidate, will be the controlling owner of the franchise if a deal is reached. Jeter, who retired in 2014 after a stellar 20-year career with the Yankees, will serve as a public figure for the owner’s group.
Jeter has long surmised that he would eventually own a team after his retirement.
Ownership of a professional sports franchise runs in the Bush family – Bush’s older brother, President George W. Bush, was a partial owner of the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1998.
Before the deal can go through, the buyers group needs to complete at least three vital steps: raise some more money, follow the guidelines set up by the MLB, and get approval from at least 75 percent of MLB franchises.
While Jeter and Bush both have a substantial amount of money between them, it is not enough to meet the $1.3 billion mark. Although other investors are already involved, the group has been seeking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 24 hours, according to Forbes.
Should they raise the money, they have to prove they have the appropriate financial structure to adhere with the MLB’s guidelines.
“You can rest assured that the acquiring group, whoever it turns out to be, will have financial structure – meaning some debt and the rest equity – that is consistent with the rules that we have, most notably the debt service rule,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN. “That’s really the commissioner’s office’s job in terms of approving any potential bidding group, and we are really focused on that issue with respect to the Marlins.”
Jeffrey Loria, the current owner of the team, purchased the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002. After threatening to take the team to another city in 2009, Loria convinced Miami-Dade County to approve a $650 million stadium, $490 million coming from the county. With the way the finances are structured, the county is on the hook for $2.4 billion through 2049.