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Indians Ask Permission to Sell Team Shares

Associated Press

The Cleveland Indians asked permission Friday to sell shares of the team to the public in a move that would be unprecedented in the majors.

The public offering had been described in reports as a way Indian owner Richard Jacobs would raise money to buy the 1999 NFL expansion team for Cleveland. The league has said Jacobs expressed interest in owning the team.

But the proposal filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission made no mention of using money from the stock sale to buy the Browns.

“The company’s strategy is to maintain the Indians’ competitive position and to increase the long-term value of the franchise,” the document says.

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Initially, four million shares of stock would be offered at a price per share of between $14-$16. But that could be bumped up to 4.6 million if the first offering sells out.

If all those shares were sold, the team could come away with $62.2 million, the document says. That’s far less than the roughly $350 million the Browns are expected to cost.

The SEC will now review the Indians proposal, a process that will take several weeks. Once the SEC is satisfied the team has disclosed all its financial information, the sale can move forward, SEC spokesman John Heine said.

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Dave Stieb had the first rough outing of his comeback attempt at Dunedin, Fla.

Pitching for Syracuse against Durham in a minor league exhibition game, Stieb gave up five runs and five hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out five.


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