Cleveland Indians end hunt for fresh investment

Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Cleveland Indians has ended a lengthy search for fresh investment by bringing Kansas City-based entrepreneur John Sherman in as vice-chairman.

Sherman joins the Indians as a minority ownership partner with the Dolan family, which has owned the team since 2000, having been seeking a minority investor in recent years.  This search was intensified last year after Paul Dolan, who took primary control of the franchise in 2013, appointed New York-based investment broker Allen & Co. in an effort to find a minority owner for the team.

Sherman has started and developed two successful businesses based in Kansas City. His first startup, LPG Services Group, grew rapidly and merged with Dynegy in 1996. Sherman later founded Inergy L.P., which became a public company in 2001 and merged with Crestwood Holdings in 2013.

“It's an exciting time to be joining the Indians organisation and ownership group,” Sherman said. “It's a strong, storied franchise with a great deal of promise this year and beyond. I look forward to working closely with Paul and helping him further the organisation and team in any way that I can.”

The team, which has not won the World Series since 1948, has suffered a significant decline in attendances in recent years and has one of the lowest payrolls in MLB. However, following Monday’s 1-0 win over the Oakland Athletics, the Indians remain top of the American League Central this season.

The value of Sherman’s share in the Indians, or his ownership percentage, was not disclosed.