At Last, Monarch Alternative Capital Breaks Its Silence Over Stalled-Out Texas Rangers Sale

Still no word from Major League Baseball concerning its imminent seizure of Your Texas Rangers in order to expedite the sale to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan's Rangers Baseball Express. But, finally, there's been direct contact with Monarch Alternative Capital, the main lender holding up the deal with Hicks Sports Group: The New York Times has gotten hold of an e-mail Monarch's managing principal, Andrew Herenstein, sent to MLB owners gathered in New York City this week for owners' meetings.

He more or less reiterates what Sports Business Journal reported this week and what Bloomberg News noted in mid-April: Should Bud Selig make a move, so too will Monarch -- straight to the federal courthouse, involuntary bankruptcy papers in hand.

It all comes down to the numbers. Tom Hicks last year defaulted on $525 million in loans. Greenberg's offer has long been believed to be between $570 and $575 million. The creditors claim that "additional costs, including unpaid interest," as The Times notes, have pushed Hicks's debt closer to $600 million. The creditors, right now set to get about half of the sale proceeds (unless MLB steps in and nullifies their claims completely), want their money. So too does Hicks, which is why, sources say, he's been hoping to bring Houston's Jim Crane and his higher offer back to the playing field. Greenberg's stuck in the middle and staying quiet, though Monarch says now that "the Greenberg-Ryan group had rejected 'various modifications' in the sale agreement that would increase the proceeds to the lenders," according to Times writer Richard Sandomir.

Long story short: If MLB steps in, Monarch's suing. And it'll get "costly, distracting and messy," writes Herenstein. "It would be a bad result for the Texas Rangers, M.L.B. and the banks." And, don't forget, the fans.

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