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Tribune Co. Lines Up Back-Up Buyer For Cubs

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 7, 2009 8:20PM

Like when we sell a Pitchfork ticket on Craigslist, the Tribune Company has lined up a second party to whom they can sell the Cubs (and the additional assets) should the current deal fall through. It's not really a shock; after all, crazier shit has happened in business and it's certainly one way of strong-arming the Ricketts into completing the deal that has dragged on for a bit. According to the Tribune report:

A person involved in the negotiations said Tuesday that Tribune Co. is "working on a deal" to sell the team, Wrigley Field and other assets to a group led by New York investor and former Chicagoan Marc Utay.

"They are not as far along as the Ricketts family but making quick progress," said the source, who did not want to be identified because the sales process is ongoing.

Tribune Company Gary Weitman said, "We have not reached an agreement on terms with any party." Meanwhile, Crain's reports, "One of the sources reporting the Utay group's deal said the new offer is 'a higher price but less cash upfront" than the Ricketts bid.'"

We imagine Zell shooting Tom Ricketts an email that says something like:


Hey, just wondering if you're still interested in the team? Because several other people have emailed and they'd be able to come pick it up this afternoon. Not trying to be a jerk, just wanted to make sure you're still in for the deal. Let me know when a good time for you to finalize the deal is. I work just North of the River during the week. We could totes meet up at Potbelly's or Starbucks or something for lunch to git 'er done.

Holla back,