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How much are the Cubs worth? Try $2.15 billion.

The Chicago Cubs paid out Tribune Media $107.5 million for the broadcast company’s remaining 5 p.c possession stake in the group, a deal that values the club at $2.15 billion.

For those people of you holding score at dwelling, that’s about 100 instances what Tribune paid out for the group nearly 40 a long time ago.

Terms of the January sale were unveiled Friday for the duration of Tribune Media’s fourth-quarter earnings report. Tribune Media reported it will realize a pretax obtain of $86 million from the sale.

The deal comes nearly 10 a long time just after the Ricketts family paid out $845 million to receive a 95 p.c stake and controlling desire in the group and Wrigley Discipline from Chicago-dependent Tribune Media, which owns WGN-Ch.9 and dozens of Television set stations nationwide. Now the Ricketts family and a modest group of outside the house traders have complete possession of the group.

Tribune Media, then identified as Tribune Co., bought the Cubs in 1981 from the Wrigley family, founders of the chewing-gum enterprise, for $21.1 million.

As a end result of the January sale, Tribune Media has a deferred tax legal responsibility of $69 million it expects to owe on the obtain, the enterprise reported in its earnings launch.

Tribune Media may well owe a good deal additional in taxes for the Cubs transactions, having said that.

In the 2009 sale to the Ricketts family, Tribune Media retained its minority stake in the Cubs by way of a challenging transaction structured as a leveraged partnership fairly than an outright sale in a bid to steer clear of funds gains taxes.

The deal was afterwards challenged by the Inside Income Provider, which reported Tribune Media owes $225 million in state and federal taxes, and $81 million in desire and penalties.

Tribune Media is contesting the IRS ruling and “continuing to go after resolution” of the tax dispute, but the sale of its remaining stake “has no impact” on the company’s possible tax legal responsibility, in accordance to a news launch Friday.

Gary Weitman, a spokesman for Tribune Media, declined to remark. Tribune Media spun off the Chicago Tribune and other big newspapers into Tribune Publishing in 2014, retaining broadcast, actual estate and other belongings, which include its 5 p.c stake in the Cubs.

In December, Nexstar Media Group agreed to get Tribune Media for about $4.1 billion, pending approval from shareholders and federal regulators.

rchannick@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @RobertChannick



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