The chairman of Chicago private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, speaking about his industry at a breakfast meeting, said he roots for the cross-town rival White Sox.
“The only thing that I was able to come out of the closet on was I’m actually a White Sox fan. God, what a relief not to buy the Cubs,” he said as the audience of several hundred local executives laughed.
In a town where Cubs and White Sox fans mock each other as not true baseball fans, such a statement could be viewed as blasphemy.
Canning, a minority owner in the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, called the bidding process for the Cubs “strange”, acknowledging his group had submitted the lowest offer in the early round of bidding before it was eliminated. He added that the Cubs owner, Tribune Co, was likely relieved to eliminate Canning’s group because it had been perceived as the favorite due to his long friendship with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
A $900 million offer made by a group led by Tom Ricketts, the head of Chicago investment bank Incapital LLC and son of the founder of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, was selected the winner in January and the deal is expected to close in the next couple months. Canning said the Ricketts family would be great owners, adding baseball officials preferred the stability of family ownership.
This post originally appeared at Reuters Dealzone.