Part Ownership of Dodgers in the name of the Republic of Korea?

According to reports out of Seoul, a group of South Korean investors is vying for partial ownership of the LA Dodgers ‘in the name of the Republic of Korea’–before opening day in April.

Last week, the Korea Joongang Daily and Naver Sports reported that a Seoul-based investment group was looking to buy a 20% stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers for about $370 million.

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.”

Dodgers Diamondbacks Baseball

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


Busan Police Arrest Man for Stealing 7.2 Million Won Worth of Clothing

Busanjin-gu police arrested a man for stealing 7.2 million won worth of clothes over the past month.


South Korean Women’s Hockey Gets first Win in Nearly 20 Years – Trounces Thailand 20-0

It took nearly 20 years but the South Korean women’s ice hockey has finally won their first match –big time!


Korean American Soldier Charged with Rape at Busan Guesthouse

The soldier, who was on leave from a U.S. Forces Korea camp in Gyeonggi Province, has denied the charges.


Top Korean Students Arrive in Austin to Work, Study and Learn from Texas Businesses

The exchange visitor program began as part of the Fulbright-Hays Act, established to expose Americans to citizens of other countries and to bring foreign students into the United States for the purpose of education and greater understanding.


Busan International Children and Youth Film Festival Chooses 2017 Theme

This year’s Busan International Children and Youth Film Festival will be held at the Busan Cinema Center from July 12th to July 18th and will have the theme of “We Are All Unique”.


Wonder Girls’ Farewell Song Tops All Local Charts

The Wonder Girls’ bid farewell to their fans last week with their last single “Draw Me”.


Singer Zion.T Album and Single Rises to Top of Korean Music Charts

The new album by South Korean hip-hop/R&B singer Zion.T has captured the top-selling music charts on the peninsula.


Porsche Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Busan

German luxury high-performance sports car manufacturer, Porsche, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Busan this year.


Chicken Prices Continue Rising Around the Country

The price of chicken in South Korea has surged in the past few months largely due to a supply shortage stemming from the massive culling of chickens in the wake of the avian influenza spreading.


10 Second Korean: 농담입니다 [ nongdam – imnida ]

Easy and quick Korean expressions!


Park Hyatt’s Restaurants Celebrate 4th Anniversary through end of February

The Park Hyatt Busan is celebrating its fourth anniversary with a special promotion at each of its restaurants.


Enjoy Oyster Dishes at the Haeundae Grand Hotel Until Feb. 28

The Haeundae Grand Hotel has two specials this month featuring various kinds of oyster dishes.


Eat Like a Local: Busanjin Market-Goers’ Favorite – Maeul Bunsik

Located in the alley behind Busanjin Market, Maeul Bunsik offers inexpensive and very delicious food. Dangmyeon (bibim cellophane noodle) and gimbap is by far the locals’ favorite.


Ecological Parks to Rent Bikes and Four-Wheelers From Next Month

Starting from the middle of next month, it will be possible to enjoy bicycles and four-wheelers at the ecological parks around the Nakdong River.


‘Sushi University’ Tour Package Launched for Foreign Tourists in Japan

Launched in January, Sushi University allows foreign tourists in Japan to visit sushi restaurants with greater ease and familiarity, as though going to their favorite neighborhood restaurant back home.


Jeju’s ‘Teddy Bear Museum’ Voted Among Chinese Favorites

A recent survey showed that Jeju’s Teddy Bear Museum was voted among the top 10 museums in the world for Chinese Tourists.


South Korean Women’s Hockey Gets first Win in Nearly 20 Years – Trounces Thailand 20-0

It took nearly 20 years but the South Korean women’s ice hockey has finally won their first match –big time!


Changwon to Open First Public 36-Hole Golf Course this Year

A new 36-hold public golf course is set to open in the first half of this year in Changwon, a first for the city.


“On the Road Busan” to Give Away a Two Day Trip to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2017

Enter for a free chance to go on a two day trip to watch skiing and one of Korea’s most popular drama’s filming location.






HQ bar