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Sale of Texas Rangers Continues With Creditors and HSG Negotiating PDF Print E-mail
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MLB Club Sales
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 09 April 2010 17:55

Texas RangersUPDATE: Reuters has now corrected the article to read:

Minor league baseball team owner and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg was selected as the lead bidder in December and the next month reached a deal with sports tycoon Tom Hicks.

However, a final deal has not been reached that would satisfy Hicks Sports Group (HSG), its creditors and Greenberg.

The sale of the Texas Rangers remains a case of creditors and Hicks Sports Group locked-up over the difference in what HSG is willing to release and what the key lenders are seeking. The sides remained deadlocked with a gap of $35 million keeping the $570 million deal that would see Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan owning the club. The sides, with MLB acting as an intermediary between HSG and the creditors, continue to negotiate. Several sources indicate that the lead lender, “predatory” hedge fund Monarch Alternative Capital, as the main creditor locking the deal up at the moment.

It should be noted that a report from Reuters today said, “Greenberg has failed to finalize a deal with the creditors of Hicks Sports Group (HSG), which owns the baseball team and the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.” Greenberg is not at the table with the negotiations and remains a case of HSG and creditors with horns locked.

There had been speculation that MLB would step in today and take over the club in order to expedite the deal to closure. As of late Friday, MLB had not taken such action, and may not do so.

The report also mentions that the bidding process could be reopened with Jim Crane or Dennis Gilbert being allowed back into the mix. There have been conflicting reports as to whether the Greenberg group had the highest bid, or not.  But, with a sale price of $570 million being well in excess of HSG debt, or more correctly, what HSG is offering up post-closing, the issue does not appear to be centered on total dollars but rather what HSG is willing to release.

Finally, there are owner approval issues to contend with. According to multiple sources, MLB wishes to see the Greenberg/Ryan approved for ownership transfer.

In a recent interview with The Biz of Baseball, Greenberg said that while there are no definaitive deadlines for the deal to be completed, if the natural course of negotiations were to continue, final approval could come the week of the 19th.

"Either Greenberg realizes the bid is too low or Major League Baseball reopens the bidding," a creditor source in the Reuters article said. "It's going to go on through next week and probably the week after that, maybe longer."

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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