THIS IS BREAKING NEWS....
The following is a statement from the investor group headed by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, the prospective bidders for the Texas Rangers:
The investor group led by sports attorney Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan confirmed today that it has received into escrow the full amount needed for the equity portion of its purchase of the Texas Rangers and has executed definitive financing agreements for the debt portion of the deal. This extraordinary step puts the Greenberg/Ryan group in position to close the transaction promptly upon confirmation of the Rangers' Chapter 11 plan (which pays all of the team's creditors in full) and Major League Baseball's final approval of the agreement.
"We wanted everyone to know that our proposal is fully funded, that we are ready to close and that our number one objective is to get the team out of Chapter 11 as quickly as possible," said Greenberg. "All we need is the Rangers getting their Chapter 11 plan confirmed and final approval from MLB."
In a related move, the Greenberg/Ryan group also announced it had negotiated terms with Rangers representatives and William Snyder, the Court-appointed chief restructuring officer for the team's parent holding companies, pursuant to which Greenberg and Ryan would waive their exclusive right to purchase the team and permit the $575 million transaction to be market tested for a second time.
This arrangement is intended to overcome the efforts of Hicks Sports Group lenders to extract additional payments by delaying the team's exit from Chapter 11. Instead of engaging the lenders in continued legal maneuvering that could be detrimental to the team, the Greenberg/Ryan Group agreed to give other potential purchasers one final opportunity to submit a topping bid. Subject to obtaining bankruptcy court approval, it is anticipated that July 16 will be the bid deadline and that the purchase of the team will be consummated by late July or early August.
"Our group was selected last December after an extensive marketing process because we put forward the strongest bid for the Rangers," said Greenberg. "Today, nearly seven months later, our bid is still superior and best serves the interests of the Rangers and their fans."
"Our goal is to do everything possible to bring this process to conclusion so that we can continue to build on the progress we've made on the field the past two seasons and so that the fans and our community can turn their full attention to this great season." said Ryan, who is a partner in the deal and would continue to serve as the team's president when the deal closes.
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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.
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