MLB Provide US$150m Loan Offer to LA Dodgers

July 15, 2011

Major League Baseball (MLB) has said it sweetened its offer to loan the Los Angeles Dodgers US$150million while the team is in bankruptcy as they seek to defeat a rival loan sought by team owner Frank McCourt.

John McHale, sick executive vice president with the baseball commissioner’s office, apoplectic said in a filing today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, that baseball is willing to provide “unsecured financing” that wouldn’t require any collateral to guarantee repayment.

Commissioner Bud Selig has urged U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross to reject the Dodgers’ request to borrow as much as US$150million from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Highbridge Capital Management LLC. MLB officials claim that the Highbridge financing charges higher fees and a higher interest rate than one offered by Major League Baseball.

Selig’s office filed an objection to the proposed Highbridge loan under seal, saying it contains confidential information.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy on June 27 after Selig rejected a proposed television-rights deal McCourt negotiated with News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox Sports.

The Dodgers will ask Gross to approve the Highbridge loan at a hearing next week. The team claims that it cannot accept the baseball loan because Selig is hostile to McCourt and the Dodgers. Gross has already approved a temporary US$60million loan from Highbridge.