MIAMI (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is no longer interested in buying the Miami Marlins and has ended his pursuit of the team, a person close to the negotiations said Tuesday.
The person confirmed Bush’s decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins have not commented on the status of sales talks. Bush led a group that included former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who may still explore a bid with other investors.
The person confirming Bush’s decision didn’t give a reason for it.
“Gov. Bush has great respect for Derek Jeter, and Derek remains a great friend,” the person said. “And he’s looking forward to a great rest of the season for the Marlins.”
With Bush’s withdrawal, the front-runner to buy the Marlins becomes businessman Tagg Romney, son of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He leads a group that includes Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine.
Earlier this month, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Romney and Bush groups had been relatively even in their price offers.
Manfred declined to comment Tuesday. Marlins president David Samson had no immediate comment, and a spokesman for Jeter didn’t respond to a request for comment. Romney has not publicly discussed his interest in the team.
Bush’s group and the Romney group had bid about $1.3 billion to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria, who bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry.
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