McCourt’s high-asset property division tale ends with Dodgers’ sale

It’s hard to tell how Jamie McCourt — former Los Angeles Dodger co-owner, along with ex-husband Frank McCourt — might be feeling right now, in the aftermath of Frank’s long-expected sale of the team for $2.15 billion.

The reason: All property-related matters in the couple’s high-asset divorce were settled last October, pursuant to which Jamie received $131 million for her share of the team.

In hindsight, that property division outcome seems more than a bit one-sided and reflective of questionable negotiating skills on behalf of those representing Jamie McCourt. One Wall Street Journal columnist questioned whether it was “the baseball world’s worst trade.”

And to make the outcome even a bit harder to understand for some people who are really crunching the numbers, the $131 million was seemingly arrived at after considerable thought and investigation. Both sides in the divorce hired experts to appraise the team’s value. Their evaluations came in at numbers ranging from $900 million to $1.3 billion.

Says one party closely interested in the matter; “It likely wasn’t bad lawyering, but bad appraisal advice.”

Others aren’t so sure, noting that Jamie McCourt might have had strong and well-considered reasons for the settlement she executed. One commentator says she may have been motivated to settle to avoid protracted and expensive litigation.

Another notes the sporadic and uncertain stock market and global economic mood that prevailed throughout much of last year, which could just as conceivably have resulted in the team ultimately selling for even less than what appraisers initially thought.

“And the truth is,” says a representative for Frank McCourt, “nobody in their wildest dreams thought that the team would bring in a $2 billion bid.”

In fact, the price for the Dodgers was the most ever paid — by a substantial sum — for any professional sports team.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Jamie McCourt’s share: Baseball’s worst deal?” Ashby Jones, March 28, 2012

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