Ryan group sues first-place Rangers over sale
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.