Investment firm leaves Unicorns in limbo againThe future of the beleaguered Hyundai Unicorns ball club is even murkier than it was last week, as a Los Angeles-based company pulled itself out of the discussions to buy the team just days after expressing interest.
The real estate investment firm Pro-State Holding Company contacted the Korea Baseball Organization on Monday with an inquiry about the Unicorns. The squad, based in Suwon, Gyeonggi province, is in a dire financial situation. Nonghyup, a state-run financial institution, backed out of a deal to buy the Unicorns the previous week.
The U.S. company told the league it would draft a formal proposal to buy the Unicorns, but its board of directors, who held an extended discussion on the matter, rejected the idea.
The company informed the league of the decision Friday morning.
A high-ranking executive of the company told Ilgan Sports that the KBO did not appear very interested in the prospect of a foreign firm owning a Korean ball club, and that the negative perception surrounding Pro-State Holding did not help the cause.
Even though the company claims to own about 60 buildings across the United States and Canada, a Google search of the company’s name did not turn up any results. Radio Korea, a Los Angeles-based radio station, reported that Pro-State Holding is actually controlled by another unknown company, and some real estate agents in Los Angeles had never heard of the name Pro-State Holding.
Meanwhile, the Unicorns have watched two companies publicly declare their interest in the team, only to step out of the equation. The team, predictably, is shaken.
“I was hoping we would settle down after the Nonghyup saga, and now this,” manager Kim Si-jin told Sports Seoul. “The longer this drags on, the more confusion it will bring, and our players will be the victims of it all.”
The league is maintaining its official stance that the team’s best hope would be to receive support from the team’s parent corporate conglomerate, Hyundai.
By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Writer [firstname.lastname@example.org]