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Monday, May 10, 2010

Maury Brown: MLB To Seize Rangers

Oh, this should be fun:
According to multiple sources, if the stalemate between Major League Baseball and a group of 40 creditors of Hicks Sports Group isn’t resolved this week, Bud Selig will use powers given the commissioner to seize control of the Texas Rangers and sell them to a group led by Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan without creditor approval. Currently, Monarch Alternative Capital, a “predatory” hedge fund is reportedly holding out for $300 million in post-sale dollars while Hicks Sports Group is offering $270 million. The Greenberg/Ryan group has reportedly offered $570 million for the Rangers, plus 154 acres of land surrounding Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Creditors hold a $70 million lien on the Rangers, but there is no lien on the land, something that has angered creditors as they have no access to monies involved in that part of the deal. Major League Baseball has been acting as an intermediary between HSG and the creditors to finalize the sale.
Brown goes on to quote a Sports Business Journal piece:
“Bud can forget any lender, which includes any hedge fund or anyone, [lending] a single nickel or dime into baseball again,” said Joe Kosich, who owns advisory firm Dornoch Capital Advisors and formerly ran sports lending at Wachovia. “In my opinion, it’s cutting off his nose to spite his face. … It is completely wrong.”
We'll see. It looks to me like the guiding principle here is the John Henry group purchase of the Red Sox, i.e. Bud just wants the team sold for the maximum possible amount within the confines of getting an ownership group the rest of the owners can stomach.

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