The Chicago Tribune, which has been covering the story, very, very closely, reports that the Tribune Company has finally gotten a signed term sheet to sell the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field to the Ricketts family for about $900 million. For tax purposes, Tribune Co. will hold onto about 5%.
The long-pending deal had appeared to be in trouble as Tribune Company and the Ricketts reportedly argued over whether the broadcast rights for the Cubs were too favorable to WGN-AM & TV, which will continue to be owned by Tribune Co. The buyers had been said to be seeking a $40-50 million reduction, but the latest report in the Chicago Tribune said the price was reduced only slightly and is still close to $900 million.
The term sheet now on its way to Major League Baseball contains the general terms and information on how the Ricketts family will finance the deal. The MLB owners have to vote on whether to approve the Cubs sale. The Ricketts family and Tribune Company still have to work out a definitive agreement.