SAN DIEGO -- Hollywood mogul Thomas Tull, who had been endorsed by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, has been told his group is not among the finalists to buy the San Diego Padres, a person familiar with the sale process said Tuesday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.
The person said "several" groups remain in the bidding to buy the Padres, who own baseball's worst record at 21-41.
A spokesman for Tull declined comment.
Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Entertainment, had been among at least five people interested in buying the Padres from majority owner John Moores.
Gwynn joined Tull's bid last month, saying "he's the right guy" to take over the struggling franchise.
Legendary Entertainment has produced hits including "The Dark Knight," "Inception," "Clash of the Titans," the two "Hangover" movies and "300."
Another group believed to still be in the running includes members of the O'Malley family, which used to own the Dodgers, and pro golfer Phil Mickelson, who's from San Diego.
Moores' proposed sale of the team to Jeff Moorad collapsed in March after baseball owners refused to approve Moorad as controlling owner. Moorad headed a group that in March 2009 agreed to a gradual takeover of the Padres. At the time, the deal was estimated to be worth around $500 million.
The Padres could be worth a few hundred million more this time, thanks to the Dodgers selling for a record $2 billion and the Padres' new TV deal with Fox.
Moores owns 51 percent while Moorad's group owns 49 percent.
The Padres won the NL West in 2005-06 before losing a wild-card tiebreaker game at Colorado in 2007.
Since then, they've been mostly dismal, losing 99 games in 2008, 87 games in '09 and 91 games last year. The Padres were surprise contenders in 2010 before collapsing down the stretch.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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