Derek Jeter finally appears close to buying the Marlins for $1.2 billion.
A group headlined by Derek Jeter is nearing a deal to buy the Miami Marlins for $1.2 billion, according to a report from the New York Post.
Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported that Miami-based billionaire Jorge Mas will buy the team for $1.17 billion “[p]ending an unusual twist.” The club “vehemently” denied Ozanian’s report, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.
A third group of investors, led by Mitt Romney’s son Tagg and Tom Glavine, appears to be out of the running.
Jeter, who now lives in Tampa, has frequently expressed an interest in owning an MLB team. He has been rumored for months to be buying the franchise from Jeffrey Loria but has had trouble pooling together the funds required. An initial bid was led by Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush but Bush pulled out of the project in late May, one month after reports had his and Jeter’s group nearing a sale agreement.
The Post reported last week that another potential investor, Chicago billionaire Richard Chaifetz, backed out because Jeter had sought outsized influence over the franchise while investing a comparatively paltry amount of money. Chaifetz contribution was reportedly set to be several hundred million dollars. Bruce Sherman, a Florida-based billionaire who was already part of the investment group, increased his share when Chaifetz bailed, the Post reports, but the Jeter group still needed to attract additional investors.
Michael Jordan—yes, that Michael Jordan—is also said to be among the group, though the Post reports Jordan is “kicking in very little cash.”
Loria reportedly wants $1.3 billion for the team—the amount the Jeter-Bush group bid in April—but none of the three groups reported to be bidding have matched that figure. Loria will choose from the three bids and the winning group will have to have its bid approved by MLB.