Report claims S. Korean firm among bidders for LA Dodgers

By Ju-min Park ,Reuters

SEOUL — A consortium led by South Korean retailer E-Land is among the short-listed bidders vying to buy the U.S. Major League Los Angeles Dodgers baseball franchise, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday, estimating the price tag at between US$1.2 billion and US$1.5 billion for the storied team. The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in June last year and a sale of the franchise was announced last week. A preliminary round of bidding has been completed. Blackstone Group LP, which is handling the high-profile auction of one of baseball’s oldest franchises, picked suitable bidders from among some of the biggest names in business and sports to advance. Baseball is one of most popular sports in South Korea, along with soccer and golf. South Korean pitcher Park Chan-ho made his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers in 1994. Los Angeles also is home to a large Korean population and the city has defined an area in the Wilshire neighborhood as Koreatown. Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier that billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen and ex-Yankees and Dodgers manager Joe Torre had received the green light, while basketball great Magic Johnson was also in the running.

E-Land executives were not immediately available to comment.