In a court motion filed last week, the Texas Rangers plan to reopen bidding and hold an auction for the baseball team’s sale this week. The Texas Rangers had initially submitted a bankruptcy plan that included the sale the team to a group led by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan, but under pressure from creditors, they have now agreed to hold an auction on July 16th for bidders who meet certain Major League Baseball requirements. The Texas Rangers had hope that a sell to the Greenberg-Ryan group for $575 million would be approved quickly by the bankruptcy court, but the bankruptcy court has hinted that the prepackaged bankruptcy plan would more likely win approval if there was another auction for the team.
“It became clear … following discussions with the (court-appointed chief restructuring officer) that (he) would be more likely to support and vote to approve the prepackaged plan following an auction process,” Rangers’ attorneys said in the motion. “The (team) understands that a competitive bidding process is the preferred method of the lenders.”
However, the Texas Rangers have made it clear that while they are reopening bidding they still feel confident that the Greenberg-Ryan deal is far superior to any bid that has been offered or will be offered. But if the Greenberg-Ryan bid is beat out by another bidder, there is a $15 million “break-up” fee that will be paid to the group. A confirmation hearing for the baseball team’s bankruptcy plan is still scheduled for July 22nd.