Hours Before Texas Rangers Auction, Tom Hicks and Chuck Greenberg Terminate Land Deal
One hour from now, Your Texas Rangers go on the auction block in a Fort Worth courtroom, immediately after which there will be a confirmation hearing; Sam's headed that way now, lucky fellow. And just when you thought, well, it's too late at this point for any more surprise twists, one more lands in the in-box in the shape of a statement from Tom Hicks's PR reps, who send word: "Rangers Ballpark land sale terminated; Property removed in 'good faith effort' to equalize Rangers auction process."
This, of course, refers to the 154 acres around the Ballpark in Arlington, which Greenberg and Nolan Ryan's Rangers Baseball Express had agreed to purchase separately for $75 million -- the same piece of land about which Greenberg said late last month, "We're not allowed to close on the [Rangers] unless we close on the sale of the land." Says the release from the LeMaster Group, which follows in full, Hicks's Ballpark Real Estate and Greenberg and Ryan's Rangers Baseball Express "mutually agreed to the termination of the land sale agreement to help create a 'level playing field' at Wednesday's auction of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club." In other words: Hicks will keep the land, which he bought in '98 as a "strong long-term investment," per the statement:
"That's the reason we wanted to keep it, but when serious bidders last December insisted on a sale, we agreed because we wanted to do everything in our power to make this transaction possible. Now, this contract seems to have become a point of contention in this proceeding, so the right thing to do is formally cancel the agreement. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to develop a retail and entertainment area close to the Ballpark."
Rangers Ballpark land sale terminatedProperty removed in "good faith effort" to equalize Rangers auction process
(Dallas, TX August 4, 2010) - Ballpark Real Estate (BRE), the group owned by Thomas O. Hicks and other investors, and Rangers Baseball Express, owned by the so-called Greenberg-Ryan group bidding to purchase the Texas Rangers, today announced the termination of a land sale agreement involving 154 acres around Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The two groups said they mutually agreed to the termination of the land sale agreement to help create a "level playing field" at Wednesday's auction of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.
Last week, Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn rejected an enhanced bid from Greenberg-Ryan that would have removed the land from the franchise bidding and canceled the auction. Lynn ordered the auction to proceed although bidders have been instructed not to include the land as part of the Rangers assets. However, until late yesterday, the land sale agreement was still in force between Express and BRE.
"This is all about good faith," said Philip Danze, attorney for BRE. "We don't want any confusion about what is included or rights that only one bidder would have. The sale is for the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners assets, and that does not include the land."
Tom Hicks, the majority owner of BRE, said his investment group purchased the property in 1998 because we saw it as a strong long-term investment.
"That's the reason we wanted to keep it, but when serious bidders last December insisted on a sale, we agreed because we wanted to do everything in our power to make this transaction possible," said Hicks. "Now, this contract seems to have become a point of contention in this proceeding, so the right thing to do is formally cancel the agreement. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to develop a retail and entertainment area close to the Ballpark."
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