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Cubs Buyer Could Be Announced By Inauguration. Or Not.

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 6, 2009 5:40PM

2009_01_06_cubslogo.gif Just as the nation prepares to swear in a new president, the Chicago Cubs could learn the identity of their new owner by the time Obama sets up his personal radio in the Oval Office. Or, the Tribune Company might just pull the team off the market altogether. Such is the process of selling a major sports franchise. A "source" tells the Trib that the winning bidder could be announced within the next seven to ten days. However, the Cubs may not be sold at all. Another "source" "cautioned that the process of narrowing the auction to one bidder still could be derailed, and Tribune Co. could pull the team and its landmark stadium off the market."

Once the winning bid is chosen, the deal is far from completion. Tribune Co. plans to enter into negotiations with the prospective buyer to work out a sale. Tight credit markets make it more difficult to obtain loans to finance a transaction that could approach $1 billion.
Further complicating matters are the Trib's recent bankruptcy filing and the fact that the new owner has to be approved by other MLB owners.