Derek Jeter 4 per cent stake in Marlins, who will have $400M debt

Derek Jeter. (Steven Senne/AP)

NEW YORK — Derek Jeter has about a 4 per cent stake in the group buying the Miami Marlins and retired NBA great Michael Jordan approximately half of one per cent, part of a $1.2 billion purchase from Jeffrey Loria that includes $800 million in cash.

Bruce Sherman, who will become the controlling owner, has the highest equity stake in the group, about 46 per cent according to details obtained by The Associated Press. The figures were provided by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not been announced.

Jeter, the former New York Yankees captain who led the team to five World Series titles, will head the team’s baseball and business operations.

"He understands that people are watching and he understands that he’s not being judged by the fact that he can play shortstop for the New York Yankees and get world championships that way," outgoing Marlins president David Samson said Thursday. "It’s a whole new game and he knew it from Day One."

The incoming group, unanimously approved by baseball owners on Wednesday, will assume $100 million in the team’s debt and is restructuring an additional $300 million of the club’s debt. The sale is scheduled to close Monday, the day after the regular season ends.

"Are people happy for a change? They may be. And I hope they’re much happier," Samson said. "I guess my wish would be that Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman get every benefit of the doubt and that every fan and every person in South Florida looks at this as a new beginning."

The new ownership committed a $50 million reserve fund to the franchise, which also will receive about $50 million more for reserves as the Marlins’ share of money The Walt Disney Co. is paying to acquire additional equity in BAM Tech, which was spun off from Major League Baseball’s digital company.

Sherman was co-founder of Private Capital Management, based in Naples, Florida.

Among others in the ownership group (and their approximate stakes) are Viking Global co-founder David Ott (10 per cent), Energy Capital Partners senior partner Doug Kimmelman (8 per cent), Sigma Group founder Jaime Montealegre (7 per cent) and The Beekman Group managing partner John Troiano (5 per cent).

Sherman, Jeter, Kimmelman, Ott and Troiano will serve on the team’s board.

As part of the $800 million being paid by the incoming group, $90 million is preferred equity.

Loria bought the franchise for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry, who became part of the Boston Red Sox ownership group. Samson joined the Marlins along with Loria, his stepfather.

The Marlins won the World Series in 2003 but has not been to the post-season since, the second-longest post-season drought behind Seattle (2001). Samson said the team operated at a loss this year, when it had a $116 million payroll for its roster as of Aug. 31, according to MLB figures.

"A lot of things have happened over the years when it comes to losing money," Samson said. "Jeffrey funded this team by himself for 16 seasons. There were several seasons where he didn’t have to but way, way more when he did have to. Some years our payroll was too high, some years our payroll was just right — and then we’d get in the race and our payroll would get too high again."

Samson met with team employees at Marlins Park, a stadium built with public financing that opened in 2012.

"It’s with a definite heavy heart and it is with an amount of emotion that I don’t often show or feel that I say goodbye to this organization," he said. "But I will never say good-bye to this community."