Good friends LL Cool J and Ice Cube both love their sports, and share an entrepreneurial spirit, too. So their latest endeavor makes perfect sense. TMZ reports that the two are joining forces as part of a "powerful group" hoping to bid on 22 regional sports channels that the Justice Dept. is forcing Disney to sell following their $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
Officials have said that since Disney is the majority owner of ESPN, they probably shouldn't be permitted to control as many as 22 sports stations as they'll essentially have monopolized the whole market by that point. LL Cool J and Ice Cube are part of the group looking to bid on the channels, which includes the New York-based YES Network. Disney has estimated the value of YES alone at $5 to $6 billion.
Other bidders include private equity groups Apollo Global Management and the Sinclair Broadcast Group, but Ice Cube and LL have teamed up with billionaire Carolyn Rafaelian, giving them a huge advantage. Sources close to the situation say that the group is currently in talks with other possible investors interested in bidding alongside them, with the initial bids taking place as soon as tomorrow (Nov. 8).
The deal for all 22 stations together is expected to reach as low as $15 billion and as high as $25 billion, which is around and possibly over 25% of what Disney paid for Fox in their acquisition deal.