News, Timeline: Sale of EDA Rhinos
With the recent announcement of the EDA Rhinos wanting to sell the team, here is a news tracker to keep everything in the same place as the story develops over the season. [Last Updated: September 4, 2016]
16 June 2016
The EDA Rhinos dropped the bomb with the announcement that the team is now up for sale. The decision was made in an internal board meeting and hopes other corporations who have enthusiasm for baseball and are interested in joining the CPBL will contact the EDA Rhinos to negotiate a deal. [Focus Taiwan]
王癸琳 (Wang Kuei-Lin), the EDA Rhinos’ general manager later told the media that the team’s decision had nothing to do with the company’s financial conditions. He also assured that the team would not be disbanded if there is no buyer. [Focus Taiwan]
CPBL Players’ Union urges the league and the government to step in and find the suitable buyers that have the passion for baseball and have long term baseball development in mind rather than doing it for social responsibility. [Players’ Union statement]
17 June 2016
CPBL Commissioner will meet with the senior management team from EDA Rhinos. Hoping to understand the problems and find a solution for it. [Further Reading]
20 June 2016
When asked about the possibility of taking over the EDA Rhinos. The general manager of PCGBROS told the media that PCGBROS will do everything in its power to be part of the CPBL.
28 June 2016
Another potential buyer surfaced. E.Sun Financial Holdings have been a long time supporter of the youth development scene. The CPBL declined to comments but mentioned there are at least four buyers interested.
2 July 2016
Rumour surfaced that the sale of EDA Rhinos has been finalised. The Fubon Financial Holdings will take over the EDA Rhinos for roughly 8 million USD. The new team’s name will be the Fubon Financial Bulls and will not stay in Kaohsiung City. Both E-United and Fubon Financial declined comments on this rumour.
4 September 2016
Fubon Financial Holdings will make an official announcement in two weeks. The takeover process will begin in November. No news regarding the new team’s name will be Bulls or Braves. The team is likely to relocate from Kaohsiung to Xinzhuang which located in New Taipei City. The purchase figure said to be around 8 to 12 million USD.
Rumours and Speculations
Since the announcement of the sale of the EDA Rhinos, there have been plenty of rumours and speculations surrounding the reasons behind the E-United Group putting the team up for sale.
The owner of the E-United Group complained several times in private that every year he spent over 3 million USD in salary, he felt the Rhinos’ players are not focused enough, and he is disappointed in the team’s recent performance.
E-United Group is in financial difficulty, with the over saturation of steels in the market, which led to the price of steel plummeting. Operating a professional baseball team became an annoyance. The Rhinos’ owner sees running the team as a social responsibility rather than running it for the love of baseball.
It has been reported that at the end of 2015 season EDA Rhinos was in talks with the Pou-Chen Corporation. Pou-Chen Corporation approached EDA Rhinos and offered 10 million USD to buy the team. Both parties were not able to settle on the final price, as E-United wanted 13 million USD to make it happen.
Note: Pou-Chen Corporation is the parent company of PCGBROS, which is the current marketing company for the Chinatrust Brothers also for EDA Rhinos back in 2013.
Possible Buyers of EDA Rhinos
Just a few potential buyers either listed by the media or there were signs hinted they might be interested in joining the CPBL.
E.Sun Financial Holdings: Longtime supporter of Taiwan’s youth baseball development. The E.Sun Cup is one of the major high school baseball tournaments in Taiwan.
Pou-Chen Corporation: Approached the EDA Rhinos last season with a 10 million USD offer, however, unable to settle on the final price.
Lih-Pao Constructions: Linked to the purchasing of the Brother Elephants in 2013. Lih-Pao used to sponsor the CPBL’s Winter League and the pre-season CPBL games.
Cathay Financial Holdings: Sports-loving corporation. They are one of the biggest financial supporters of the Taiwanese sports scene.
Fubon Financial Holdings: Have an industrial league team also a professional basketball team. They partnered with the Lamigo Monkeys as their sponsor this season.
Chii-Lih Coral: Have an industrial league team based in Eastern Taiwan.
Taiwan Cooperative Holdings: Have an industrial league team since 1948.
Topco Scientific: Have an industrial league team.