An unnamed source was quoted as saying:
“The consortium [of Korean investors] was formed when one of the five joint owners tried to sell his shares. The deal is expected to be worth about 400 billion won…and is set to be concluded before the season starts in April.”
Another source, identified only as “a law firm official,” made the lofty claim of bringing the national government on board for the ownership deal:
“The consortium aims to include the national pension fund or sovereign wealth fund, which can represent the country, because it wants to become a co-owner of the club in the name of the ‘Republic of Korea’”.
The coverage also stated that the Korean consortium would have no control over the team regarding baseball-related decisions and that those calls would continue to be made by Mark Walter, who has 100% control over baseball decisions among the ownership group –which includes Magic Johnson, Mark Walter, Peter Guber, Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton.
The LA Times “confirmed” the story with their own unnamed source:
The person said the talks were “progressing” but otherwise declined to characterize how advanced the negotiations might be or handicap the chances of reaching a deal.
Dodgers President Stan Kasten then chimed in –declining to say much of anything really.
“People talk to us all the time about all sorts of things,” Kasten said. “We never publicly discuss any of it.”
Numbers and Conditions Coming under Scrutiny
Unnamed sources are problematic at best; you walk a thin line of credibility with no one to confirm a report –especially when loose ends start to fray.
Granted, back in 2012 there was talk of the Dodgers looking for a “strategic partnership” with either Mexico or South Korea –both large fan bases– but nothing ever came of it.
According to a Sunday piece by LA Times columnist Steve Dilbeck, the reported numbers being thrown around don’t make much sense:
A 20% share at that figure would value the Dodgers at $1.85 billion, which is less than the $2.15 billion the Dodgers ownership group paid for the team in 2012.
Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly told The Times back at the end of 2012 that Guggenheim Baseball Management already valued the team at $3 billion. That would make a 20% stake – assuming the Dodgers don’t believe the value of the team hasn’t risen in the last two years – at $600 million. That’s a $230-million difference from the Joongang figure.
Dilbeck also questions whether any investor would be willing to shell out that kind of money and have no control over operations.
The other aspect that seems odd is the South Korean group would not have control of the team. Is this what the stupid-rich do? Drop maybe $600 million into a venture and then step back and say take care of my investment? What are the Dodgers, a mutual fund?
Dibeck goes on to jest that for that kind of money you could afford a third of the teams in the MLB and have total control.
Another unnamed source (The Times again) concurs:
A high-ranking major league official said he was unaware of the talks but said he would be surprised if a group would consider making such a large investment without any path toward control of the team.
“I think that would be unlikely at those numbers,” the official said. “It’s such a big bet. You’re basing everything on the management capabilities of people you don’t know at all.”
Expanding the Dodger Brand
Though the reports might be off, it makes fair sense from a Dodger point of view to expand the already popular brand in South Korea, which is home to star Dodger pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu.
When Korean pitcher Park Chan-ho was on the team from 1994-2001, Korean viewership made up an estimated 20% of the total. With increased TV coverage on the peninsula, sales of merchandise could once again bring a tidy sum to the team’s coffers.
The team already enjoys strong ties with Koreans in the LA area itself which, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is home to 334,329 of the United States’ 1,423,784 Koreans –the highest Korean American population in the U.S.
As of this writing, the Korean government has issued no confirmation of the unconfirmed talks reportedly taking place.
The Latest Haps
A South Korean man who was reportedly kidnapped in the Philippines in 2016 was recently found dead by local authorities there.
The population of registered resident in Busan has fallen under 3.5 million two months earlier than was originally expected.
The Mongolian consulate in Busan has moved to a larger facility in Haeundae.
After dating for five years, K-pop superstar, Rain and Korean actress Kim Tae-hee have announced that they will tie the knot. The date and venue have yet to be revealed.
This Friday, January 20th, at HQ Bar KSU sees the return of the monthly Ha Ha Hole, Busan’s only live English comedy show.
Legendary K-pop boy band Shinwha is performing a concert in Busan on February 11th as part of their “Unchanging” tour.
The Busan International Film Festival will begin a little later than usual this year because of the Chuseok holidays.
The Ibis Ambassador Haeundae Hotel is holding a 1,000 won room for one night promotion for its grand opening.
Gorilla Brewing Company is hosting an “all-you-can-drink” event tonight at the brewery in Millak-dong.
HQ Gwangan’s monthly open mic night is back for the January edition, but for this month only, it’s being moved to Saturday.
Costco has added its latest food offering at its food court, a new footlong Roast Beef sandwich.
Take a look inside the traditional cultures of the Vietnamese highlands
Officials said today, starting in April, South Korea will check information on inbound air passengers to sort out potential terrorists.
The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017 is taking place February 16-19 at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
Infielder for the Lotte Giants Hwang Jae-gyun has decided to leave the Korean Baseball Organization to challenge the Major Leagues.
The sports ministry said that South Korea plans to spend 937.2 billion won (US$779.7 million) this year in support for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games preparations.