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Report: Bid to Sell Angels May Come Soon

January 17, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An investment bank handling the sale of the World Series champion Anaheim Angels plans to begin seeking bids within two weeks, according to a published report.

The Angels are owned by the Walt Disney Co., which bought controlling interest in it in 1996. Last fall, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner announced that the company was looking to sell all or part of the Angels and the Mighty Ducks hockey team ``as soon as possible.″

Lehman Brothers is expected to start approaching potential buyers and providing them with information about the Angels at about the time that the team opens training camp next month, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday, citing an unidentified source familiar with the sale process.

``As we have said all along, we will not comment on any aspect of the negotiations or the sale except to say there are several interested and qualified buyers,″ Disney spokeswoman Michele Nachum said Thursday.

The potential buyers would be invited to place initial bids within two-to-three weeks, the Times said.

Estimates of the team’s worth have ranged from about $250 million to $400 million.

An after-hours call to Lehman Brothers seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday.

``We’re not privy to any of that information,″ Angels spokesman Tim Mead said. The club was conducting ``business as usual,″ he added.

One of those who has expressed interest in buying the Angels is Carlos Peralta, a Mexican billionaire who owns Tigres de Puebla, one of that country’s most successful baseball franchises.

Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth told the Times on Wednesday that his partnership remains interested in buying the team but would negotiate directly with Disney and would not enter an auction.

``We will not be a bidder in the process,″ he said.

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