Ryan group sues first-place Rangers over sale

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By An­gela K. Brown

FORT WORTH — The group backed by Ma­jor League Base­ball to buy the Texas Rangers sued the team Mon­day, hop­ing to force the long-de­layed sale and put a halt to the fresh round of bid­ding that was opened up un­ex­pect­edly in the team’s bank­ruptcy case.

The law­suit filed by Hall of Fame pitcher and team pres­i­dent Nolan Ryan and Pitts­burgh sports at­tor­ney Chuck Green­berg ac­cuses the Rangers of breach­ing their pur­chase agree­ment with the group.

It is the lat­est twist in a com­pli­cated and oc­ca­sion­ally ugly fight over the Rangers, who are in first place in the Amer­i­can League West and hop­ing to reach the play­offs for the first time since 1999.

Sell­ing the team to the Green­berg-Ryan group and pay­ing cred­i­tors $75 mil­lion was part of the Rangers’ bank­ruptcy plan when the team filed for Chap­ter 11 pro­tec­tion in May, af­ter an­gry len­ders had blocked the sale for months.

The Green­berg-Ryan group, Rangers Base­ball Ex­press, was cho­sen af­ter a bid­ding process that started last sum­mer with A group led by Chuck Green­berg, left, and Nolan Ryan, right, is try­ing to buy the Texas Rangers, but the bank­rupt team’s cred­i­tors have thus far been able to block the sale. six bid­ders, ac­cord­ing to the suit. Af­ter be­ing se­lected, the group even raised its of­fer by $10 mil­lion be­cause the team was still ne­go­ti­at­ing with other in­ter­ested buy­ers be­fore the agree­ment was signed in Jan­uary, the suit al­leges.

Al­though Rangers Base­ball Ex­press re­cently put money into an es­crow ac­count to al­lay cred­i­tors’ con­cerns, the team filed for bank­ruptcy as a way to speed up the sale.

The suit ac­cuses the cour­tap­pointed re­struc­tur­ing of­fi­cer, Wil­liam K. Sny­der, of try­ing to “hi­jack” the bank- ruptcy case by rec­om­mend­ing that the team re­open ne­go­ti­a­tions with other bid­ders.

A con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing on the Rangers’ bank­ruptcy plan was set for July 22, where Sny­der was to make his rec­om­men­da­tions to the judge. It’s un­clear if that hear­ing will change in light of Mon­day’s law­suit.

Paul Mose­ley

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