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The Rangers deal is not a done deal

Jan 26, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

Sure, Greenberg and Ryan have made a deal with Hicks, but they’re not the only ones that matter.  According to Sports Business Journal, a hedge fund called Monarch Alternative Capital — which came in late in the game and bought up a bunch of Hicks Sports’ Group’s debt when they nearly defaulted on their obligations last summer — has yet to sign off. And they may not, because they think that Hicks passed up a better offer: from Houston businessman Jim Crane.

SBJ is saying that Monarch is “unlikely” to scuttle the deal, but that it has a reputation for “going to the mat” for the last dollar.  They’re also none too pleased with the fact that Hicks is still going to end up owning part of the team post-sale, making
him a buyer and a seller.

Because Monarch is essentially a debt vulture, it may not get much sympathy from the banks and everyone who matters here on the pure dollars of it all. But I continue to think that they have an excellent point regarding Hicks being on both sides of the deal. That has stunk to me from the get-go, and I have no idea why, if there were better offers than Greenberg’s, his partners in Hicks’ Sports Group and others haven’t raised a stink about it. 

  1. RichardInDallas - Jan 26, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Offers other than Greenberg’s may have been for more dollars or had better terms, but Greenberg’s offer is the only one that allows Nolan Ryan to remain as President. Local thoery is that loyalty on Ryan’s part is a big factor in Hicks’ retention, and Ryan as much as said so on local sports talk (1310 AM TheTicket) yesterday. Hicks will retain a role in the ownership group, but will not sit on the board, being given the title “Chairman Emeritus”, with no real power at all. As far as fans are concerned, Ryan is the key to this deal, because his mere presence bolsters confidence in the stands, which will remain much less empty than if he weren’t involved. Without Ryan remaining, I’m very afraid that economic conditions would force the team to relocate to even have a chance at making a profit.

  2. UnhappyRangersFan - Jan 26, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Tom Hicks is a greedy billionaire who destroyed the Texas Rangers baseball team and who stiffs his creditors.
    Look up on the internet how his son treats fans of Hick’s soccer team.

  3. jwb - Jan 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    As I understand it, there are tax benefits if an owner retains partial ownership of a team. John Moores and his gradual sale of the Padres and the Sam Zell/TribCo sale of 95% of the Cubs are examples of this. In the long run, these tax benefits may make accepting a lower bid while retaining partial ownership more lucrative for Hicks and his partners (I’m assuming the partnership will retain partial ownership, not just Hicks, because otherwise his partners would “raise a stink”) but less palatable for a lien holder which may not be able to reap those tax benefits.

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