Ricketts, Tribune Reach Deal for Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Ricketts family has reached a deal to buy the storied Chicago Cubs baseball team from bankrupt media company Tribune Co for slightly less than the original $900 million bid, a source familiar with the deal said on Monday.

“There is a deal between the Ricketts and Tribune Co,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because the agreement has not been announced.

Spokesmen for Ricketts and Tribune Co were not immediately available to comment.

The Ricketts family, led by Chicago investment banker Tom Ricketts, agreed in January to buy the team, its home park of Wrigley Field and a stake in a regional sports cable TV network for $900 million.

“The terms are very similar,” the source said. “It’s slightly less than that.”

A final deal had been held up by disagreements over the value of Cubs’ broadcast contracts and other items, as well as the Ricketts arranging their financing for the purchase.

Earlier this month, Tribune had reopened talks with private equity investors Marc Utay and Leo Hindery in a move that some analysts saw as a way to pressure Ricketts into settling on terms desired by the media company.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman, editing by Matthew Lewis)