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Peter Guber, a full-fledged sports executive these days following his six-year stint as chairman of Sony Pictures, has joined the Los Angeles Dodgers bid group fronted by former Lakers star Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Guber, the co-owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors since July 2010 and chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment — which owns and/or manages several minor-league baseball teams — would be a minority investor in the Johnson group that also includes veteran baseball front-office executive Stan Kasdan and Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter.
Johnson and Guber are already business partners. The Basketball Hall of Famer is an investor in Mandalay’s Dayton Dragons, a Class A team in baseball’s Midwest League that has sold out a record 844 consecutive games at its 7,230-seat ballpark. And Guber helped Johnson launch his chain of movie theaters when he was at Sony.
The Times said Guber’s decision to join the Johnson group was confirmed by two people familiar with the Dodgers sale process but not authorized to comment publicly.
The Johnson bid is one of four expected to be submitted to MLB owners for approval next week. Outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt would then select the winning bidder by April 1 and close the sale of the team by April 30, the same day he must pay his ex-wife Jamie $131 million in a divorce settlement. Reports say the Dodgers could fetch in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion.
Guber, 70, ran Sony from 1989-95. He has produced or executive produced such films as The Witches of Eastwick, The Color Purple, Batman, Rain Man and Gorillas in the Mist.
Guber has tried to land a piece of the Dodgers — not to mention the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks — before. He joined with venture capitalist Joseph Lacob in 2010 to pay $450 million for the Warriors, which counts another former Lakers star, Jerry West, as an adviser.
The other finalists for the Dodgers reportedly include groups led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen; Stan Kroenke, owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams; and Michael Heisley, owner of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, and Ares Capital co-founder Tony Ressler, a minority investor in baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers.
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