Bloomberg News

Blackstone Wins Bid to Block Subpoenas Over Dodgers Sale

January 03, 2013

Blackstone Group (BX:US), which advised on the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, won an order blocking subpoenas for information related to a divorce settlement dispute between former team owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife Jamie McCourt.

Jamie McCourt, who claims her $131 million settlement is unfair, issued subpoenas that seek information related to valuation of assets, according to papers filed Nov. 5 in New York State Supreme Court.

Justice Jeffrey K. Oing issued the order today at a hearing in Manhattan. The subpoenas over the team’s valuation are premature, Oing said.

The subpoenas issued to Blackstone and senior managing director Peter Cohen, who worked on the Dodgers sale, are “vastly overbroad and seek materials that are completely irrelevant” to asset valuations, Blackstone said.

Jamie McCourt, in a request filed in September in California state court in Los Angeles, said the divorce settlement was based on fraud and should be set aside. To induce her to accept the $131 million, Frank McCourt claimed the value of their assets was less than $300 million, according to her request. The sale of the Major League Baseball team left Frank McCourt with $1.7 billion, she said.

Jamie McCourt’s attorneys said in court papers that Cohen is the critical witness about what Frank McCourt knew about the value of the Dodgers.

“Mr. Cohen is the key witness of the issues most germane to the most to set aside -- namely what Frank knew about the value of the Dodger assets and when he knew it,” they said.

The case is In the matter of the application of Blackstone Advisory Partners, 653823-2012, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Christie Smythe in New York at csmythe1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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