Bloomberg News

Padres to Be Sold to Beer Distributor Fowler, O’Malley Kin

August 07, 2012

John Moores has signed an agreement to sell the San Diego Padres to a group headed by California beer distributor owner Ron Fowler that includes the family of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley and golfer Phil Mickelson.

Sarah Farnsworth, senior vice president of public affairs for the Padres, confirmed that an agreement has been reached while declining to reveal details. Moores told MLB.com that the purchase price of $800 million would include a 21 percent stake in the regional sports network Fox Sports San Diego.

Major League Baseball owners may vote on the sale at their Aug. 16 meeting in Denver with 75 percent approval needed from the other 29 owners.

“The team will have no formal statement or news conference until after MLB votes on it,” Farnsworth said in a telephone interview.

Fowler would get a team that hasn’t won a championship since joining the National League in 1969. The Padres appeared in the World Series in 1984 and 1998, losing each time. The team last reached the playoffs in 2006 and this year is in fourth place in the five-team NL West. Petco Park, the team’s home ballpark, opened in 2004.

Fowler, the chairman of closely held Liquid Investments Inc., a Del Mar, California-based beer distributor, would represent the Padres at league meetings, MLB.com said.

O’Malley Family

O’Malley’s son Kevin and nephew Tom Seidler are also part of Fowler’s ownership group, which includes San Diego native Mickelson. T.R. Reinman, a spokesman for Mickelson, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The O’Malleys brought baseball to the West Coast when they move the Dodgers to Los Angeles from Brooklyn, New York, in 1958.

“This brings a long baseball blood line to San Diego,” Moores told MLB.com. “I couldn’t be more pleased. I feel like I’m handing over the club to the right people.”

John Moag and Steve Greenberg, bankers hired by Moores to sell the team, didn’t immediately respond to e-mails sent after business hours seeking comment on the sale.

Fowler had been part of a group led by Jeff Moorad whose agreement to buy the Padres for $525 million failed.

The price of the team escalated after the Padres signed a $1.2 billion television contract with Fox, MLB.com said.

The Dodgers’ sale in March for a record $2.1 billion to a group that includes basketball Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners executive Mark Walter also boosted the Padres’ valuation, the report said.

“There’s no question that the market lifted in the last year,” Moores told MLB.com. “I don’t think I will have any problems with the sale this time around. This one is so solid. I don’t foresee any outstanding issues.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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