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O'Malley group finalizes purchase of Padres

The SportsXchange

After two months of head-to-head negotiations, a group headed by heirs of the former owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego business and civic leader Ron Fowler and professional golfer Phil Mickelson finalized an agreement to buy the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

The "O'Malley Group" purchased the Padres from majority owner John Moores and a group of minority owners formed by Jeff Moorad in 2009 to buy the Padres. The sale price of approximately $800 million includes $200 million in upfront money the Padres received as an advance payment from Fox Sports San Diego as part of a new 20-year, $1.2 billion television agreement.

The transaction was finalized Monday night pending approval by other Major League Baseball owners. That approval could come as soon as Aug. 16 when the owners meet in Denver.

The O'Malley Group is led by former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley; his sons, Kevin and Brian; his nephews, Peter and Tom Seidler; Mickelson and Fowler, the CEO of Liquid Investments, as well as a small group of other members of the Moorad group.

"Earlier today, our group signed the purchase agreement," said Peter Seidler, the spokesman for the new Padres owners. "The acquisition is subject to the approval of Major League Baseball and the major league clubs.

"Assuming we receive approval, there will be a prompt, efficient and smooth transition. For decades the Padres have been an exciting and entertaining part of San Diego. We will field exciting and winning teams. We will reserve further comment until the proper time."

Kevin and Brian O'Malley and the Seidlers are expected to become "hands-on" owners while assuming many of the club's business, operational and community-leadership roles.

Tom Garfinkel will remain as the CEO, and Josh Byrnes will remain as the general manager. No immediate changes are known on the baseball end of the operation.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig last month seemed to endorse the O'Malley Group as owners of the Padres even before the final details of the sale were completed.

"San Diego fans deserve great ownership, and I think the O'Malley tradition in baseball is remarkable," Selig said. "This would be an excellent development for baseball."
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