Tom Hicks, the majority owner of the Texas Rangers, began looking for minority investors in the franchise in late March. At the time, Hicks Sports Group, which owns the Rangers and NHL Dallas Stars, Hicks Was working toward selling 46 percent of his 95 percent controlling stakes. HSG has gone into default on over a half-a-billion in loans – $525 million.
In April, Hicks said that there was no chance that the banks could wind up owning both holdings, but now, instead of retaining majority ownership, Hicks appears to be up for selling off his majority stake (see Could Tom Hicks Be Forced to Sell the Texas Rangers?). As reported by the Star-Telegram:
In a surprise, Tom Hicks didn’t rule out that his nearly 11-year ownership tenure might soon be reduced to something less than having the final say.
"I am selling part of the Rangers. I don’t know how big of a part. Yes, I’d be open to selling more than a minority share, but it depends on who the partners are."
So, who could wind up purchasing the majority of the club? That remains an open question, but the as the Star-Telegram further reports, a familiar face in Nolan Ryan could be interested:
As Hicks’ hand-picked, in-charge-of-everything team president, chummy seems to apply here. Plus, it has been speculated many times that Ryan and his longtime business partner, Don Sanders of Houston, would have an interest in buying a majority share of the Rangers. And no interest at all in what was previously being offered — a minority share.
"Knowing nothing about what the details are, and having not been involved in discussions [about being a majority owner], there’s no way I can comment on any of this," Ryan said.
Would it be something he would now explore?
"That’s hard to say," Ryan added, "without having talked to Tom about it."
If Hicks were to sell his majority stake it would mark the end of an 11-year ownership tenure with the Rangers.
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. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. 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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