Dodgers Owner Reportedly Is Offered $1.2B for Team

LOS ANGELES -- Frank McCourt has been offered $1.2 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a bid that would get funding from Chinese government-owned investment banks, according to the contents of a letter disclosed to the Los Angeles Times.

The bid to buy the team out of bankruptcy was being headed by Los Angeles Marathon founder Bill Burke, the Times reported Thursday, citing two people familiar with the letter but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The bid terms call for an all-cash payment to buy the Dodgers, all real estate related to the team and the team's media rights.

McCourt has said that he has no interest in selling the Dodgers and that he intended to remain the owner after the team emerges from bankruptcy protection. But attorneys for McCourt have said he could try to keep Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots even if he did sell the team.

The letter, which was presented on behalf of the Burke group by Signal Capital Management of New York, said funding for the bid would come from "certain state-owned investment institutions of the People's Republic of China" as well as unidentified American investors.

The bid would expire in 21 days, according to the letter, with the goal of closing a deal within 90 days, subject to the approvals of the bankruptcy court and Major League Baseball.

Burke and a McCourt spokesman, Steve Sugerman, did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Matthew Hiltzik, a spokesman for McCourt's ex-wife Jamie, who claims half ownership of the team, declined to comment to the AP.

The proposed sale price would break a record for a Major League Baseball team that had been set two years ago when the Ricketts family paid $845 million to buy the Chicago Cubs from Tribune Co.

The participation of overseas investors in the team's ownership would not be unprecedented, with the Seattle Mariners' ownership group including a significant Japanese presence.