Red Sox ownership can’t seem to shake reports that it’s trying to sell the team, including the latest, that principal owner John Henry is attempting to take on a limited partner for his Fenway Sports Group.
Last month, Fox Business Network reported that Henry had been quietly shopping the team. Henry and others in Sox ownership immediately said there was no truth to it, and that they couldn’t control inquiries from investors after the sale of the Dodgers for $2.2 billion this spring.
Now, Fox Business is reporting that because Henry’s investment company is performing as poorly as his baseball and soccer teams, he needs financial help in the form of a limited partner.
The Fox report indicated that Henry’s Global Analytics fund has lost just over 21 percent this year, including 6.16 percent in September alone.
The report also indicated that Henry’s investment company has had a rough year. His Diversified Plus fund is down 11.43 percent this year, 6.63 percent in September, according to the company’s website.
“There is absolutely no truth to any other sale or claim that John Henry is selling the team or a piece of FSG,” said Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran.
“Henry is a Wall Street guy and he can read a balance sheet,” one rival executive told Fox Business. “He’s getting killed in Liverpool, and the Red Sox basically break even or make a few bucks. NESN does very well, but having a partner will make him feel better from a financial standpoint.”
The Fox report said Henry may also have issues related to The New York Times Company’s sale earlier this year of its remaining stake in Fenway Sports Group for $63 million.
According to the report, it’s not clear if Henry bought back the New York Times stake. The Red Sox would only say it was sold back to “minority partners.”
“I love Fenway Sports Group and will hold my portion for the rest of my life,’’ Henry wrote to the Globe in an e-mail. “This is what I do. I’m very optimistic about our future.
“I have had no discussions with anyone about any sort of sale — not once in 11 years. Anyone saying or writing something different is either misleading others or being misled by others for whatever reason.”
Forbes estimates the Red Sox alone are worth around $1 billion, and Fenway Sports Group acquired Liverpool FC in 2010 for $476 million.
Sources told Fox Business last month that Henry was hoping the Red Sox would fetch about $1.3 billion. Henry is No. 311 in the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.