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October 14, 2009

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Cubs File For Bankruptcy

THE Chicago Cubs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, a step that will allow its corporate parent to sell the team in an US$845 million deal.

The filing in Wilmington, Delaware, was anticipated and is expected to lead to a brief stay in Chapter 11 for the Cubs.

It comes as part of the Tribune Co's plans to sell the team, Wrigley Field and related properties to the family of billionaire Joe Ricketts.

Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, filed for bankruptcy protection in December, but the Cubs were not included in the filing. The team's run through Chapter 11 is expected to protect its new owners from potential claims by Tribune creditors. Tribune bought the Cubs in 1981 for US$20.5 million from candy maker Wm Wrigley Jr Co. It announced plans to sell the franchise in 2007, but got tripped up by the recession.

It has agreed to sell the Ricketts family a 95 percent stake in a deal that tops the record US$660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox and its related properties in 2002.

The National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes, a franchise that has yet to make a profit since moving from Winnipeg, Alberta, in 1996, filed for Chapter 11 protection in May.


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