Texas Rangers creditors said a competing bidder wants to buy the baseball team, which has agreed to a $575 million sale to a group that includes Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.
Andrew Leblanc, a lawyer for a group of secured lenders, said at a court hearing yesterday that the group has been in contact with a rival bidder who is ready to participate in an auction for the team.
George Postolos, whose career includes a stint as the president of the Houston Rockets basketball team, is the bidder’s representative, he said in an interview during a break at the hearing. He declined to identify the bidder. He said he has previously represented Houston businessman Jim Crane.
Crane unsuccessfully bid for the team before it agreed to a sale to the investor group led by Ryan, the team’s president, and Chuck Greenberg, an investor in minor league baseball clubs. Crane, the founder of Houston-based freight forwarder EGL Inc., which was acquired in 2007 by Ceva Group Plc, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Leblanc declined to comment about the identity of the bidder after yesterday’s hearing.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn in Fort Worth, Texas, said he wasn’t prepared to rule on whether the Rangers should auction itself.
“I have not crossed the bridge,” on whether to require an auction, the judge said following Leblanc’s remarks about the rival bidder. “I’ve not decided anything about the plan, the sale or anything else,” he said.
Texas Rangers Baseball Partners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week with plans to sell to the Greenberg-Ryan group. The sale requires bankruptcy court approval. The lender group, which includes Monarch Alternative Capital, opposes the sale. It says the team can get a better deal.
At yesterday’s hearing, Lynn ordered mediation involving the team, the lenders and Major League Baseball.
The case is In re Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, 10-43400, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth).