Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/6/12
DOVER, Del. (AP) -- The LosAngeles Dodgers filed a revised reorganization plan on Friday and said they areon track to exit bankruptcy as planned by April 30. The amended Chapter 11 planfiled Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware is based on an agreementannounced last week to sell the team for more than 2 billion, which theDodgers say will allow for the payment of all allowed creditor claims in full. The Dodgers are being bought byGuggenheim Baseball Management, a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakersstar Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten. The 2 billion purchase priceincludes about 412 million of existing debt financing that will remain inplace. The balance, just under 1.6 billion, will be paid in cash from equityfinancing by the owners and affiliates of Guggenheim, which has provided a cashdeposit of about 159 million. "This agreement is theculmination of an auction process that was conducted over several months andreflects the highest and best bid generated by that process," the teamsaid in a prepared statement. The April 30 date was includedin a settlement that resolved a dispute between the Dodgers and Major LeagueBaseball over the team's bankruptcy. It coincides with the deadline for currentowner Frank McCourt to pay 131 million to his ex-wife, Jamie, as part of theirdivorce settlement. The judge presiding over thebankruptcy case has scheduled a hearing next Friday to consider whether toconfirm the plan. While the purchase agreementwith Guggenheim calls for the sale to close on April 30, it also allows theDodgers to seek approval from MLB or the court to extend the closing date tosometime next month if need be. Court papers indicate thatDodgers chief financial officer Peter Wilhelm will remain in that post with thereorganized company. Kasten, former president of the Atlanta Braves andWashington Nationals, will serve as president and CEO. "By any measure, the planis a remarkable outcome for the debtors, their estates, and all parties ininterest, especially taking into account where these cases began," Dodgersattorneys wrote in a memorandum supporting the revised plan. The Dodgers sought bankruptcyprotection in June after baseball Commissioner Bud Selig refused to approve anew TV deal with Fox Sports that McCourt was counting on in order to makepayroll and keep the franchise solvent. After the bankruptcy filing,attorneys for Selig successfully fought to force the Dodgers to acceptbankruptcy financing from Major League Baseball, arguing at the same time thatMcCourt had looted more than 180 million from the team for his own use andreasons not related to baseball, and that he should be forced to sell the team. The Dodgers, meanwhile,threatened to seek court permission to enter into a new media rights dealwithout the approval of MLB. After battling for severalmonths, the Dodgers and MLB reached an agreement last year that authorized asale of both the team and a process to market the media rights to gamesstarting in 2014. Fox Sports objected to thesettlement with MLB and the proposed marketing of future media rights, sayingit violated Fox's rights under its existing telecast contract with the Dodgers. The Dodgers reached a settlementwith Fox in January after a federal district court judge said Fox likely wouldwin an appeal of the bankruptcy judge's ruling authorizing the marketing of themedia rights.
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