UPDATE: According to the court schedule, the status conference for the Texas Rangers voluntary bankruptcy case is scheduled for 1:30pm CT
The judge overseeing the voluntary bankruptcy proceedings of the Texas Rangers has ruled in favor of the disclosure statement filed by Texas Rangers Baseball Partners and has set a July 9 confirmation date that could approve a Prepackaged Plan filed by TRBP that would move them out of Chapter 11 status.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn ruled that nine Classes of unsecured creditors are deemed to be unimpaired and therefore have no voting rights as to whether to approve or deny the prepackaged plan designed to pay all secured and unsecured debt of the Rangers.
The ruling is seen as setting the stage for a status confernece on Tuesday in which Lynn could rule as to whether the three key remaining classes that comprise the first and second lien holders, as well as the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners Equity Interests have voting rights, as well.
The ruling Monday on the disclosure statement (see Mondayâ€™s ruling along with the disclosure statement) goes on to say that the three Classes not addressed in todayâ€™s ruling have the right to vote whether to approve or deny the prepackaged plan but that the judge has the right to overrule those votes if he deems them to be unimpaired. It is possible that Lynn could make that determination on Tuesday.
Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, which includes the current owners of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, and Rangers Baseball Express, the local investor group led by Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg and current team president and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, is providing a gross amount of $255.8 million to Hicks Sports Groupâ€™s lenders through the Prepackaged Plan. Hicks Sports Group, the holding company for the Texas Rangers is $525 million in debt. Its creditors claim that they can garner more from the sale if it is opened up to other bidders, specifically Houston businessman Jim Crane. Lynn said in a hearing last week that it was not incumbent for the highest bid to be accepted, rather than the outstanding debt against the Texas Rangers assets be addressed.
Last Tuesday, Martin Sosland, a lawyer for the Rangers said after going over details on the bankruptcy code brought of the value of the lien against the club, "They're entitled to $75 million, and they go away," Sosland said.
Judge Lynn sided with Sosland saying, "I'm inclined to agree with your position on the maximization of value. At this point, you're ahead on that one."
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