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Ex-Texas Rangers Owner Hicks Settles Administrator Suit

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Tom Hicks, the former owner of the Texas Rangers, settled litigation with the Major League Baseball franchise’s post-bankruptcy plan administrator who last year accused him of misdirecting money, according to a court filing.

Administrator Alan M. Jacobs last year accused Hicks of diverting “tens of millions” of dollars from the team toward the purchase and development of parking lots near the Rangers’ Arlington ballpark.

State Judge Tonya Parker in Dallas had ordered the parties to mediation in August.

“In the days following the mediation, the parties continued their settlement discussions and now have reached an agreement in principle to settle all causes of action in this case,” lawyers for both sides told Parker in a court filing yesterday.

The accord is subject to formal approval by lenders in the bankruptcy, according to the filing.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial Dec. 3.

Hicks owned the club from 1998 until the summer of 2010, when it filed for bankruptcy and was sold to a group led by Hall-of-Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who played for the team from 1989 to 1993.

Hicks “embarked on a scheme to build a real estate empire on the backs of the Texas Rangers’ players and creditors and fans,” Jacobs alleged last year.

“We welcome the opportunity to challenge these allegations in court,” Lisa LeMaster, a spokeswoman for Hicks, said in a statement at the time. LeMaster didn’t have an immediate comment on the settlement.

Cowboys, Lots

Jacobs said in court papers this month that the parking lots generate “millions of dollars per year” in parking revenue from events at nearby Cowboys Stadium and are worth from $51.5 million to $75 million.

Details of the settlement weren’t included in yesterday’s filing.

Jeff Tillotson, a lawyer for Jacobs, said in an e-mail yesterday that he didn’t have an immediate comment on the settlement and would confer with his client.

The case is Texas Rangers Baseball Partners v. Hicks, DC-11-10069, 116th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, Texas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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