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Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate to be acquired by global sports firm

The Memphis Redbirds are one of nine minor league clubs Endeavor says it plans to purchase
Credit: SLBJ
AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A minor league affiliate will soon have a new owner.

Beverly Hills, California-based sports and entertainment company Endeavor Group Holdings (NYSE: EDR) said Wednesday it has inked a purchase agreement to acquire the Memphis Redbirds, the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Endeavor said it is acquiring the team from its majority ownership group, led by Peter Freund, and the St. Louis Cardinals, which held a minority interest.

The Cardinals declined to comment on the deal.

The Memphis Redbirds are one of nine minor league clubs Endeavor says it plans to purchase. With the deal, the public company says it has launched a new subsidiary called Diamond Baseball Holdings to manage the clubs that will be led by Freund as CEO. The professional baseball teams will add to Endeavor’s sports and entertainment holdings, which include entertainment agency WME, mixed martial arts organization UFC and sports, fashion and media agency IMG.

A Freund-owned entity, Trinity Sports Holdings, in 2016 acquired a majority stake in the Redbirds from the Cardinals. At the time of that deal, the Cardinals — which had acquired the Memphis team in 2014 for $15 million — said they retained a minority interest in the Triple-A club. The Redbirds, which play in Triple-A East, have been the Cardinals’ top-level affiliate since 1998.

The Redbirds said Wednesday in a statement that President and General Manager Craig Unger will remain in charge of operations after it joins Diamond Baseball Holdings.

“We are excited to be joining DBH and furthering our commitment to contributing meaningfully to the Memphis and greater Mid-South community," Unger said in a statement. 

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