MINNEAPOLIS (AP) â€” Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the Texas Rangers to an investment group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg on Thursday.
The sale was formally approved at a MLB owners' meeting in Minneapolis, marking the end of a monthslong struggle that Ryan and Greenberg endured to take control of the club. Ryan will remain team president.
The group initially agreed to buy the team from Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks in January. But a messy bankruptcy case ensued and Ryan and Greenberg ultimately had to win a bidding war with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to secure the team.
Ryan and Greenberg beat out Cuban with a bid valued at $590 million, about $100 million more than its opening offer.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig said the Greenberg-Ryan group had "demonstrated an unwavering commitment" to the Rangers, who will officially emerge from bankruptcy protection when the sale is completed.
The Greenberg-Ryan group's winning bid includes paying more than $200 million to unsecured creditors â€” including Alex Rodriguez, who is owed $24.9 million in deferred compensation six years after his trade to the New York Yankees.
Creditors will receive $75 million from the team in the bankruptcy plan, but the judge has said they can sue other entities of Hicks Sports Group, which defaulted on about $525 million in loans last year. Hicks is trying to sell Liverpool, but the English football club is not part of Hicks Sports Group and is safe from creditors in the Rangers' bankruptcy case.
Hicks will not be part of the new organization.