CINCINNATI Carl Lindner agreed today to sell controlling interest in the Cincinnati Reds to a group of area businessmen, keeping baseball s first professional franchise in local hands.
The group is headed by Robert Castellini, chairman of a Cincinnati-based produce company, and relatives of a family that owned the team from 1966-84.
The family sold control of the team to Marge Schott in the 1980s, setting up one of the team s most turbulent periods. The Reds won a World Series in 1990 but were tainted by her offensive remarks.
Under pressure from baseball, Schott sold her controlling shares in the team for $67 million to a group led by Lindner in 1999. The latest sale was set in motion last March, when three limited partners who owned 51.5 percent of the team s shares indicated they wanted to sell.
Lindner said at the time that he intended to retain control of the team, which hasn t had a winning season since it moved into Great American Ball Park in 2003.
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