Are you a billionaire or, perhaps, a centimillionaire who is bored with day-to-day investing? Would you like to be treated like a god when you go to a ballgame rather than merely being treated like a king like all the other luxury box owners? Do you want to brag to your friends at the country club about how the business you partially own makes it, like, three steps from the top of its industry year after year?
If so, do the Dodgers have a deal for you! Bill Shaikin of the Times:
The Dodgers’ owners are interested in selling a small share of the team and have retained an investment banker to solicit bids.
There is no timetable for a possible sale, said the banker, Sal Galatioto. He added that Mark Walter would remain the Dodgers’ controlling owner, with his partners from Guggenheim Baseball Management.
This, like the way the Mets sold minority shares a few years ago, is a means of getting some liquidity into the hands of Mark Walter and his fellow Dodgers owners. If you buy a piece of the Dodgers you won’t get to hire or fire anyone and Tommy Lasorda will still get a better parking place than you. You will get access to a luxury box or maybe seats behind home plate. Though not as good as those seats that agent with the dark hair and glasses who sits just to the first base side of the lefthanded batters box gets. He’s there every night and he’s not moving for you.
But you will get to say you own a part of the Dodgers. You will get bugged for cash calls on occasion. You will get a polite “no” when asked to examine the financial records of the business and, if you actually do get to see them, you will likely be obliged to tell people that, really, baseball teams make no money at all, because that’s what baseball owners do. And, in 5, 10, 20 or never years from now, when the majority owners decide to sell the team, you or your descendants may make a nice profit. Before then the principal owners can likely buy you out at a bargain rate for them, should you require it.
Yes, all of the perks of owning a non-controlling interest in a closely held company can be yours if you have, say, $20 million for a vanity investment. Who wouldn’t want that?