THIS IS BREAKING NEWS...
In a flurry of bids at auction that ran late intoÂ Weds. night and early Thurs. morning, the group led by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane approached William Snyder the CRO in the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case at just before 12:45am on Thurs. and conceded the sale of the club to the group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan. The total cash amount in winning bid by Greenberg/Ryan is $385 million.
The Cuban group actually had a bid of $390 million with an additional $12 million added due to removing closing money from escrow, but based upon how their deal was structured, and the addition of a "break-up fee" that could have been as high as $13 million, the Greenberg/Ryan bid, that saw all cash available now, was valued as worth more.
"It was an emotional roller-coaster," said Nolan Ryan, the current club president and soon to be future owner."You go to court one day and it didn't go your way, but you go back another day and it would. It's a relief."
MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy, who was in attendance for the auction said afterwards, "I'm very pleased and I look forward to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan leading the team for many years to come."
A confirmation hearing is scheduled for later in the morning Thurs. with Judge Michael Lynn, but given the lateness, it is unclear if the time will be bumped.
While the group that MLB has preferred for months finally won the day, it comes at a considerable price. Before the clubs was put into voluntary bankruptcy, it had been reported that the creditors were steadfast in accepting no less than $300 million. In getting the auction process they fought so hard to get, they garnered an extra $85 million in cash.
The sale likely would benefit Major League Baseball as well as the increased sale price will further push the bar upwards for future club sales. The Rangers were valued at $451 million in the most recent Forbes MLB valuation report. With the group assuming approx. $208 million in liabilities and misc. reductions of $3 million, the total winning bid is $590 million, or approx. 31 percent higher than the Forbes valuation figure
After the confirmation hearing takes place, Major League Baseball has said that it will vote to approve the ownership transfer by Aug. 12 when the Greenberg group had said funding commitments would expire.
Look for more news as it becomes available.
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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. 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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