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Ricketts' Purchase of Chicago Cubs Hits Possible Snag

Scott Wapner
Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 | 5:24 PM ET

Tom Ricketts' deal to buy the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise has hit a possible snag, CNBC has learned.

Nearly six months after Ricketts, a billionaire corporate bond investor and member of the founding family of TD Ameritrade , submitted the winning bid to buy the team from Sam Zell's Tribune Company for $950 million, key parts of the deal remain open. Those unresolved issues include the final purchase price, tax issues and certain broadcasting matters. The sale includes Wrigley Field and a 25% stake in the team's regional sports network.

Sources confirmed to CNBC that Ricketts received a letter from Tribune Company about the matter a few weeks ago.

The letter stated that unless the remaining matters were agreed to within a specific time frame, Ricketts could risk losing the deal or Tribune could begin talks with other interested parties.

Sources say Ricketts is seeking to reduce the final purchase price by tens of millions of dollars.

Ricketts declined to comment personally, but Dennis Culloton, a spokesperson for the Ricketts family, told CNBC's Darren Rovell, "the negotiations are ongoing, the Ricketts family financing is virtually in order and we have had positive talks with the Tribune Company as early as this morning."

Major League Baseball declined to comment.

Last January, Ricketts was selected from a group of three finalists after Zell put the team on the market on Opening Day 2007.

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