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Want to own a share of the Dodgers? This could be your chance

 Want to own a share of the Dodgers? This could be your chance
The Guggenheim Baseball Management group -- Bobby Patton, from left, Stan Kasten, Magic Johnson, Mark Walter, Peter Guber and Todd Boehly -- poses for photos at Dodger Stadium on May 2, 2012. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers' owners are interested in selling a small share of the team and have retained an investment banker to solicit bids.

There is no timetable for a possible sale, said the banker, Sal Galatioto. He added that Mark Walter would remain the Dodgers' controlling owner, with his partners from Guggenheim Baseball Management.

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Galatioto also represented the owners of the Chicago Cubs last year, when they sold minority shares for a total of about $300 million. That deal is believed to have valued the Cubs and related assets in excess of the $2.15 billion Walter and his partners paid in 2012 to buy the Dodgers, their stadium and half-ownership of the stadium parking lot.

Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly said later that year that he believed the franchise value had reached $3 billion.

The Cubs' owners said they would use proceeds from their sale to renovate Wrigley Field and develop the surrounding area. It is unclear what the Dodgers' owners would do with their sale proceeds. Guggenheim's five-year exemption from baseball's debt service rules expires this year, although Galatioto said he did not believe debt reduction was the purpose of the sale.

"That's certainly not what ownership has said to me," Galatioto said.

The Dodgers previously have considered selling a small ownership share to strategic partners with interests in Mexico and South Korea, without reaching a deal.

"This is a global brand," Galatioto said. "People might be able to help internationally develop the brand."

Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based Sportscorp Ltd., said limited partners generally have no say in the operation of the team and tend to invest for two reasons: asset appreciation, and what he called the "package of goodies" — the best seats in the house, the potential for a championship ring, and the cachet that comes with being a part-owner of a popular sports team.

Dodgers President Stan Kasten did not return a message from The Times.

"During our five years with the Dodgers, we have had a steady stream of inquiries from different parties interested in becoming a part of Dodger ownership," Kasten told Bloomberg News, which first reported the story Wednesday. "With continuing developments in the sports and entertainment industry, both domestically and internationally, we thought this might now be a good time to examine some of the opportunities more closely."

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin

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