Report: Canning Out of Cubs Auction

So much for having the inside track. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a group led by John Canning has not been invited to the second round of bidding for The Chicago Cubs.

Canning is chairman and co-founder of Madison Dearborn Capital Partners, and is known to have a close relationship to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. That friendship, however, apparently wasn’t enough to overcome a bid that reportedly did not approach the $1 billion floor established by other bidders. Such bids would set a record for sports franchises, although they also include Wrigley Field and a local sports cable channel.

Update: A Chicago insider emails: “Not out, just Zell sending a shot across the bow. We’re still in the first inning.”

As peHUB reported earlier this week, the Canning group included:

  • Bruce Rauner, principal and chairman of buyout firm GTCR
  • Dave Donnini, principal with GTCR
  • Byron Trott, banker with Goldman Sachs known for his relationship with Warren Buffett.
  • Michael Krasny, former CEO of current Madison Dearborn portfolio company CDW.
  • Patrick Ryan, CEO of Aon Corp.
  • Andy McKenna, who once served as Cubs chairman early in its ownership by Tribune Corp.
  • Larry Levy, a Chicago-based restaurateur who supplies concessions to sporting facilities like Wrigley Field
  • Michael Sacks, CEO of Grosvenor Capital Management
  • Michael Ferro, founder of Click Commerce (sold to Illinois Tool Works).