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Is Bud's Man a Cubs Fan?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 27, 2007 3:48PM

Even before the team was officially up for sale, there has been a great deal of speculation about who the next owner of the Cubs might be. While the media -- Chicagoist included -- has focused on the likes of Donald Trump, Ernie Banks and Mark Cuban as possible new team owners, if MLB commissioner Bud Selig gets his way the new owner will be less well known to most of us.

2007_06_sports_john_canning.jpgFortune magazine is reporting that Selig is pulling for John Canning Jr., CEO of Madison Dearborn Partners, to buy the team. Canning's private equity firm, based in Chicago, is the one which recently purchased CDW for $7.3 billion.

So why Canning? He the deep pockets needed to buy the team -- it could cost as much as $1 billion to buy the Cubs. He has Chicago roots, and, "as part owner of the Milwaukee Brewers (he'd have to sell that stake), he's already a familiar face to the league's owners." Um... doesn't that also makes him some sort of traitor?

While Selig may be pulling for his buddy because he believes he'll be the best steward for the team in the future, the Tribune Co. has a different primary criteria in selling the team. Working with J.P. Morgan to handle the sale, as a public company the Tribune Co. needs to ensure the maximum sale price for its shareholders.

Cubs fans can only hold out hope that whomever has the deepest pockets -- or at least is willing to pay the most for the Cubs -- will be the best owner, too. Otherwise, the World Series drought could continue well past the century mark.

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