Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan won an auction for ownership of the bankrupt Texas Rangers baseball team after outbidding Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane. Cuban and Crane’s top bid of $581.2 million was topped by the Greenberg-Ryan bid of $593 million. But the auction was not without the ordinary level of dramatics that have been ever present in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of the Texas Rangers.
According to witnesses, there was profanity and threats thrown back and forth between attorneys representing both sides in the bankruptcy auction. And at one point some were asking that the bids be thrown out because bidding procedures were allegedly unfair. But the biggest point of contention was the issue of when the bankruptcy purchase would be concluded after the auction. The Greenberg-Ryan group said that Cuban and Crane were not suitable buyers because they could not conclude the sale quickly enough and that they only had a 50 percent chance of being approved by the MLB.
“Our money is worth more than their money because you get it now!” thundered Tom Lauria the attorney for Greenberg, in a courtroom confrontation with William K. Snyder, the court-appointed chief restructuring officer. Lauria apparently disagreed with the formula for reducing the value of any Cuban bid because it could take weeks or months longer to conclude the deal. The Greenberg-Ryan group has shown documentation that it can conclude the deal on Aug. 12.
Now that the winning bidder has been selected, the MLB must officially approve the new ownership of the Texas Rangers team. Of course the Greenberg-Ryan group was always MLB’s preferred buyer so there is no doubt that their approval is forthcoming. Afterwards, the bankruptcy reorganization plan must be submitted and approved by the bankruptcy trustee to clear the way for the Texas Rangers’ bankruptcy exit.