Beating a bevy of high-powered suitors to the punch, billionaire hedge-fund executive Steven Cohen put in the first bid this week for the Dodgers, according to media reports.
He has engaged one of America's notable sports architecture firms to propose renovations to Dodger Stadium, allied himself with one of baseball's power brokers, secured the support of at least two prominent Angelenos and met with several major league owners.
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He was joined in those meetings by Arn Tellem, an influential sports agent who could run the Dodgers if Cohen were to buy the team.
The developments were confirmed by several people familiar with the Dodgers sale process, each of whom declined to comment publicly.
Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Cohen, declined to comment.
Cohen is among the first to submit a bid to Major League Baseball for approval, according to a person familiar with the process but not authorized to discuss it.
Cohen beats out other potential suitors who have included former Lakers legend Magic Johnson, business magnate and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Peter Guber, the CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, and philanthropist Eli Broad.
Initial bids for the Dodgers are due Jan. 13.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt took the team into bankruptcy in June and in November agreed to sell. According to a Tuesday court filing, the Dodgers' parent company has spent about $12 million in "bankruptcy-related expenses," more than the team paid any of its players last season.
Cohen, 55, is the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, a Connecticut-based investment firm that controls $14 billion in assets.
In September, Forbes estimated his net worth at $8.3 billion.Under the Dodgers' sale process, the league has agreed to approve up to 10 bidders, with McCourt granted the right to conduct an auction and select the winner.
If he believes that the league has unreasonably rejected Cohen or any other bidder, McCourt can appeal to the mediator appointed by the Bankruptcy Court.