Bankruptcy judge nixes late higher bid on Rangers
FORT WORTH — A bankruptcy judge Friday rejected a last-minute higher bid on the Texas Rangers from Major League Baseball’s preferred buyer, a deal that would have canceled next week’s auction.
Since U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn said Wednesday’s auction will proceed as planned, the higher bid from a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg is now off the table. That means the starting price at the auction will still be $306.7 million, which is the cash portion of Greenberg-Ryan’s $520 million bid for the team. The group’s total offer includes an additional $55 million or so for parking lots.
The court-appointed restructuring officer, William Snyder, had asked the judge to forgo an auction. He said the Greenberg-Ryan group had substantially increased its offer and removed “stinky” side deals considered favorable to team owner Tom Hicks.
The new bid was filed under seal, but an attorney for the team, Ronit Berkovich, indicated in court that it was $40 million higher.
Lynn said Friday that he did not believe creditors’ claims that Snyder was trying to make “an end run” to sell the team to Greenberg-Ryan’s group, which was chosen as the buyer after the team’s original bidding process last year.
Creditors who have blocked that deal urged the judge Friday to proceed with the auction. Lynn made his decision after lawyers for Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane said their clients would bid at the auction.