Report: Pirates Nix Offer

Posted: January 30, 1995

The owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates have rejected a revised bid from John Rigas to buy the team, television station KDKA-TV reported yesterday.

Rigas, the cable TV entrepreneur with major league baseball's permission to negotiate a purchase, increased his initial $80 million offer Friday. He and city officials said the new bid was worth nearly $90 million.

However, the Pirates said Rigas proposed no extra cash for the owners but instead offered stock in the team and a pledge to try to find other investors who want to buy their stock.

KDKA-TV reported that the public-private consortium that owns the Pirates rejected the new bid in a conference call over the weekend. Rigas's deadline to buy the Pirates was midnight.

The Pirates' owners said they will continue talking to Rigas and at the same time ask their investment bank, Wertheim Schroeder of New York, to solicit other bids.

Rigas is the city's choice to buy the team because he has pledged to keep it in Pittsburgh.

William Newlin, an attorney close to Mayor Tom Murphy, said negotiations will continue into the week if necessary.

Two teams in markets of a size similar to Pittsburgh - the San Diego Padres ($83 million) and the Oakland Athletics ($85 million) - recently sold in the range of Rigas's initial $80 million offer.

In other news:

UNION: TO DISCUSS SIGNING FREEZE

The Major League Players Association's executive board will meet tomorrow in Washington to discuss whether to continue the signing freeze. The union's negotiations with owners will resume Wednesday.

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