SBD/Issue 242/Franchises

Six Buyers Express Interest In Acquiring MLB Rangers From Hicks

The MLB Rangers "received letters from about six prospective buyers interested in acquiring the team when those documents were due" on August 18, according to financial sources cited by Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Rangers Owner Tom Hicks earlier this summer "took the unusual step of sending to potential buyers a second financial book on the team, following a first book that went out in January." Hicks and MLB reportedly are looking to sell the Rangers for around $600M, though sources said that prospective bidders "believe the franchise will sell for a figure more in the low-to mid-$500[M] range." Kaplan notes MLB has been "supporting payroll at the team since" Hicks on March 31 missed a $10M interest payment to a group of creditors, and a sale of the Rangers "could go a long way toward curing that situation." Sources said that MLB is "eager to see a healthy price for the club given its location in a major market." MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy: "The process is moving forward and we're encouraged by what's happening there" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/31 issue). In Ft. Worth, Barry Shlachter cites a source as saying that "little movement on a sale is likely until the baseball season ends next month." The "only names that have surfaced as possible buyers" are Texas businessman David McDavid, "who has been keeping a low profile, and Rangers President Nolan Ryan, who has made few statements on his position" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/3).

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