LOS ANGELES _ Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney were reinstated to the Los Angeles Dodgers bidding Monday, leaving five parties in contention to buy the team.
The decision was disclosed by two people familiar with the sale process but not authorized to comment.
The Gold/Disney bid had been rejected last week by a committee of Major League Baseball owners, amid concerns over the structure of an offer that included private equity financing to back the launch of a regional sports network.
MLB rejected four bidders presented by Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' outgoing owner. The court-appointed mediator, retired judge Joseph Farnan, upheld the MLB dismissal of Beverly Hills developer Alan Casden and overturned the rejection of Gold.
The two other bidders turned down by MLB _ Jared Kushner, publisher and owner of the New York Observer and son-in-law of Donald Trump; and a group led by former YES Network chief Leo Hindery and Tom Barrack, chairman of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital _ decided not to appeal to the mediator.
The entire body of major league owners is expected to vote within the next week on the five remaining bidders. In addition to the Gold/Disney bid, the other contenders include a group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong; a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten; St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; and a partnership of Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Tony Ressler, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Ares Capital and minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers.
McCourt then can negotiate with any approved bidders, with the goal of selecting a winner by April 1. He has agreed to close the sale of the team by April 30, the date by which he must pay his ex-wife $131 million in a divorce settlement.
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