Chicago Cubs Reopen Talks with Rivals Bidders

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Talks to sell the storied Chicago Cubs baseball team have reopened with a rival bidding group, and are continuing alongside negotiations with the original Ricketts family buyers, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

Tribune Co, which has been trying to sell the Cubs for more than two years, is talking to a group that includes private equity investors Marc Utay and Leo Hindery, three sources familiar with the situation said.

Spokesmen for Tribune Co and Ricketts said their talks are ongoing and Ricketts spokesman Dennis Culloton described them as positive. Utay and Hindery declined to comment.

The bankrupt media company agreed in January to sell the Cubs and other assets to a group led by Tom Ricketts, chief executive of Chicago investment bank Incapital LLC and son of the founder of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.O), for $900 million.

However, the deal was not finalized before an exclusivity period ended. Several sources said that Tribune is now able to negotiate with other buyers.

While the Ricketts group has lined up its financing, sources previously told Reuters that the sides cannot agree on the value of Cubs’ broadcast contracts. (Reporting by Ben Klayman and Megan Davies; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)