MLB Asks Nats Bidders for Details

By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 3, 2005

Major League Baseball yesterday requested more financial information from the eight groups trying to purchase the Washington Nationals, including how much each group is willing to pay for the team, who is the lead member of the group and what banks are lending the groups money, according to a source involved in the bidding process.

A response to the request, which was sent to each group through e-mails, is due Sept. 12, according to sources involved in the sale but who wish to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Baseball is hoping to sell the Nationals, which are owned by the league's 29 teams, by the end of the month for as much as $450 million.

Yesterday's e-mail is the latest phase of the team's sale, which began last spring, when the groups each placed a $100,000 deposit with MLB for the right to bid on the Nationals. The groups placed initial bids ranging between $300 million to more than $400 million on June 1, and at least three groups have indicated orally that they are willing to go as high as $450 million, according to sources.

The groups have been allowed to review the team's financial documents and have received briefings by MLB Advanced Media, which runs the league's lucrative online businesses.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company