MLB clubs approve Miami Marlins takeover

Major League Baseball has confirmed that its clubs have unanimously approved the $1.2bn (€1.02bn) takeover of the Miami Marlins franchise by a group led by billionaire businessman Bruce Sherman and New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter.

The approval is contingent upon the closing of the sale transaction with current owner Jeffrey Loria, who purchased the team in 2002. MLB said the transaction is expected to be closed within the next week.

Jeter and Sherman last month won the race to acquire the Marlins ahead of a rival offer from Miami businessman Jorge Mas. Another offer headed up by Tagg Romney, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had earlier fallen by the wayside.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said: “I wish the best to Jeffrey Loria and (Marlins president) David Samson. During their tenures, the Marlins won the 2003 World Series, hosted this season's successful All-Star Week at spectacular Marlins Park and eagerly supported our efforts to grow the game internationally.

“I congratulate Mr. Sherman on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new control person of the Marlins and look forward to Mr. Jeter's ownership and CEO role following his extraordinary career as a player."

The Miami Herald said that Sherman would hold a 46 per cent ownership stake in the team, with Jeter to hold a four per cent stake and be in charge of business and baseball operations.

The newspaper added that the Sherman-Jeter group has received backing from about 16 investors, among them NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan, a friend of Jeter.

In a statement, the departing Loria said: “I can’t think of anyone better suited than Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. They are true baseball people, as well as true gentlemen. I have every confidence in their ability as the next stewards of the Miami Marlins to take us to new heights.”

Loria acquired the Marlins for $158.5m in 2002 from John Henry, who is part of the ownership group at rival MLB franchise the Boston Red Sox.