Major League Baseball is considering seizing control of the Texas Rangers in an attempt to finalize the sale of the team.
The Hicks Sports Group (HSG), the current owners of the Rangers, were forced to put the club up for sale in 2009 after defaulting on their $525 million dollar loan. Tom Hicks negotiated with many potential buyers, including Houston area businessman Jim Crane, former agent Dennis Gilbert, but decided on a group led by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and current club president Nolan Ryan.
The largest HSG lender, Monarch Alternative Capital, is not happy with the choice to sell to the Greenberg-Ryan group and have halted the deal. They want negotiations to be re-opened with other potential buyers, since the Greenberg-Ryan group may not have been the highest bidding group.
The MLB has made it clear that they wish for the Greenberg-Ryan group to purchase the team and they want a resolution to the deal soon.
A statement released by the MLB stated, “Major League Baseball is currently in control of the sale process and will use all efforts to achieve a closing with the chosen bidder. Any deviation from or interference with the agreed upon sale process by Mr. Hicks or any other party, or any actions in violation of MLB rules or directives will be dealt with appropriately by the Commissioner”.
Whomever is chosen to buy the club must be approved by not only the lenders, but also by the MLB owners group. Right now the clear cut choice for the owners vote is the Greenberg-Ryan group.
Hicks said he does not want to see the team go into bankruptcy, should no buyer that can gain approval from MLB and HSG’s lenders be found.
If the league were to seize control and sell the team to the Greenberg-Ryan group, they will most likely face legal response from the creditors.
My take: The lenders need to get their heads out of their rear ends!!! The current owners are trying to pay them off and put the team in a better situation. This can clearly be done by going with the Greenberg-Ryan group.