Dallas Stars NHL Franchise May Get Bid From Chuck Greenberg, Lawyer Says

Chuck Greenberg, former chief executive officer and co-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, may seek to purchase the bankrupt Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League, a lawyer said today in court.

Greenberg is part of Texas Hockey Acquisition Co. and may participate in an auction of the Stars, owned by former billionaire Thomas Hicks, said Greenberg’s attorney, Jeffrey M. Schlerf, of Fox Rothschild LLP.

“They are definitely interested in bidding,” Schlerf said in an interview after the Stars hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Stars filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15 with a plan pre- approved by its lenders to sell the team at an auction with a so-called stalking horse bid from Vancouver-based businessman Tom Gaglardi.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Peter Walsh agreed to speed up the usual process for approving an auction. Walsh agreed to let the team return to court Sept. 22 to seek approval for the rules.

Greenberg and hall-of-fame pitcher Nolan Ryan led the group that bought the Texas Rangers at a bankruptcy auction last year for about $593 million.

Greenberg announced in March that he was stepping down as Rangers CEO and selling his stake back to the team because of differences with Ryan.

Bidder’s Offer

Gaglardi agreed to be the lead bidder with an offer that includes about $50 million in cash and $100 million in new debt promised to senior lenders.

Several parties signed confidentiality agreements with the team to get financial information they need to bid, Stars attorney Martin Sosland of Weil, Gotschal & Manges LLP said in an interview.

Hicks, who fell off the Forbes list of billionaires in 2010, sold his stake in the Liverpool Football Club in the U.K. and last year put the Rangers into bankruptcy where it was sold at a court-supervised auction. Hicks invested cash and loans worth about $150 million in the team.

Gaglardi and his family own Sandman Hotels, Inns & Suites; Denny’s Restaurants; and the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Team.

The case is Dallas Stars LP, 11-12935, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at schurch3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net.

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