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05/06/09 10:24 AM ET

Sale of Cubs progressing slowly

Will not be finalized by May meeting of MLB owners

CHICAGO - The sale of the Chicago Cubs is not expected to be completed by the next meeting of Major League Baseball owners, scheduled for later this month, and is proceeding slowly, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday.

The Cubs had hoped to complete the sale of the team, Wrigley Field and a 25-percent share of Comcast SportsNet Chicago by Opening Day, but that did not occur as the Ricketts family needed more time to secure financing to complete their purchase. Sam Zell, Tribune Co. chairman, said he thought the deal would be finalized by the end of the month, shortly after MLB owners meet on May 20-21.

The report said that despite good intentions, the transaction will not be completed by those meetings, but that does not mean the deal is in jeopardy. One person told the Tribune that the sale is "proceeding slowly, but proceeding."

Tom Ricketts have raised $400 million for the deal by selling personal stock holdings and planned to borrow the rest. But because of the recession, the Ricketts family has had difficulty in getting the financing to complete the $900 million transaction. The complex deal also must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. The Tribune Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection last December.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.