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Texas Rangers Auction on Hold as CRO Rejects Motion PDF Print E-mail
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MLB Club Sales
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 09 July 2010 10:38

Texas RangersCommissioner Bud Selig said that the sale process of the Texas Rangers was “long and winding road”. Yet another turn has been added to it.

William Snyder, the court appointed Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) in the Rangers bankruptcy case, rejected a motion filed by Texas Rangers Baseball Partners that would have opened up the club for auction, while saying that with adjustments, an auction should still occur. The notice by the CRO reads:

The CRO approved the Motion before it was filed and supported the Motion at the time it was filed. Based on changes in facts and circumstances since the filing of the Motion, however, the CRO has concluded that the Motion is no longer in the best interests of the Equity Debtors and that, therefore, he can no longer support the Motion The CRO has informed the Debtor of this and requested that the Debtor withdraw the Motion. The CRO understands that the Motion will be withdrawn pursuant to his request. The CRO believes that a sale process still is in the best interests of the Debtors and the Debtors Equity; however, on terms other than those which the Motion sought approval by this Court. The CRO expects to finalize new bid procedures shortly and expects that they will be presented to the Court for expedited approval.

The July 9 hearing that was set to occur before Judge Michael Lynn where procedures for the sale, “stalking horse” status for the Greenberg/Ryan group, and approval of the payment for a $15 million “Break-Up Fee” that would go to that group, should it not be selected, was cancelled by TRBP and changed to status conference.

In today’s edition of the SportsBusiness Daily, Daniel Kaplan reports:

The creditors opposed the team’s motion for three principal reasons, a well-placed source said: It would have given MLB, not the court, final choice of the winner; it gave the Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan group the right to review other bidders’ finances; and it would give Greenberg a $15M breakup fee. Apparently the CRO agreed in part with at least some of these objections. The well-placed source said the hope was still to have an auction sometime within the next two weeks.

When asked earlier this week of how the motion that has now been pulled allowed for MLB to approve the final bidder, regardless of whether it was the highest, or not. Commissioner Selig backed the league's right to select its owners.

“Let me make this clear, baseball has always had the right to select their ownership,” Selig said on Tuesday. “There’s a long history of that that predates my entry into baseball in the 1970. So, I’m very, very comfortable in telling you that, yes, I was pleased [in the CRO’s advisement that MLB can ultimately approve the owners of the Rangers]. But there’s no doubt in my mind that we have the right to select ownership, and will do that.”

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Maury BrownMaury 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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