The folloiwng is a statement released by Rangers Baseball Express, LLC, the group of investors led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan regarding today's ruling by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge:
United States Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Michael Lynn issued a Memorandum Opinion today addressing certain key legal issues regarding the bankruptcy of the Texas Rangers and the proposed plan of reorganization. The proposed buyer of the Texas Rangers, Rangers Baseball Express, LLC, the investor group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, is pleased with the Judge’s ruling. The opinion lays out a road map to rapid confirmation of the plan, consistent with the schedule established when the case was filed.
The plan calls for the sale of the Texas Rangers to Rangers Baseball Express, LLC. Central to the opinion was the contention of the Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Lenders (the “Lenders”) that they be granted an effective veto over any proposed sale of the Rangers. Judge Lynn ruled that the Bankruptcy Code does not require that the plan confer such rights and determined the plan may go forward with certain modifications, described in the Opinion, to protect the legal rights of the Lenders. Such modifications can be made by Texas Rangers Baseball Partners (the “Debtor”) without the consent of the Lenders. If those modifications are made, the Lenders will be deemed to have accepted the plan and will not be entitled to vote against it and will not have the ability to block the sale.
Judge Lynn rejected the Lenders’ argument that they are entitled to speak in the bankruptcy case for the two general partners that own the Debtor. He determined that the Rangers’ equity owners, and not the Lenders, would continue to speak for those entities. In determining whether to accept or reject the plan, the Rangers’ equity owners are required to seek court approval and will need to act in a manner consistent with the fiduciary duties imposed by the Bankruptcy Code.
In a separate hearing today, Judge Lynn appointed William Snyder, a prominent corporate restructuring specialist in Dallas, as the Chief Restructuring Officer for the two general partners. Mr. Snyder will have the opportunity review the proposed plan and determine whether the contemplated sale of the Texas Rangers to Rangers Baseball Express, LLC would serve the best interests of the two general partners, the Debtor, and their creditors. Rangers Baseball Express, LLC welcomes the appointment of Mr. Snyder and has confidence that, after a careful and timely review, he will conclude that confirmation of the plan on the schedule currently set by the Court would serve the best interests of the Texas Rangers, its owners, and their creditors.
The ruling is consistent with an Order, entered on June 21, 2010, to schedule a hearing to confirm the plan for July 9, 2010. At that hearing, the Debtor will be required to prove the plan meets the standards for confirmation under the Bankruptcy Code.
MORE DETAILS AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE
Maury 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, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. 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.
Follow Maury Brown on Twitter
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook