As the negotiations with the Ricketts family dragged on earlier this year, Tribune had conducted separate sale talks with a group led by New York investor and former Chicagoan Marc Utay. He told The Associated Press on Friday that he was disappointed but had no hard feelings.
"The Ricketts seem like a very nice family and we think they'll be wonderful stewards of the Chicago Cubs franchise," he said. "We wish them the best of luck and hope they will bring a World Series title to Chicago."
Tom Ricketts was a market maker at the Chicago Board Options Exchange and finance executive before starting investment bank Incapital LLC in 1999.
The Ricketts family sold 34 million Ameritrade shares earlier this year to raise $403 million for the Cubs deal, but still controls about 16% of the company's stock and two board seats. Toronto Dominion Bank became Ameritrade's biggest shareholder with 45% of the stock after Ameritrade acquired TD Waterhouse's U.S. retail securities business in 2006.
Ricketts likely needn't worry about missing out on a chance to collect a World Series trophy as owner this fall. The Cubs, heavy favorites to win the National League Central division going into the year, trailed the rival St. Louis Cardinals by seven games entering play Friday.