Rangers bankruptcy filings reveal perks, sale efforts

Rangers bankruptcy filings reveal perks, sale efforts

Brendan Case and Gary Jacobson – The Dallas Morning News

Each of the Texas Rangers’ 320 full-time employees gets 120 game ticket vouchers a season.

Twenty-two thousand Lexus vehicles park free during the season thanks to a sponsorship between the auto brand and the team.

The club’s preferred provider health plan has an annual premium of $2.1 million, with about $367,000 coming from employees and the balance from the team.

And the Rangers pay seasonal employees a total of about $62,500 per home game in hourly wages, not including overtime.

Those are some of the details of the Rangers’ business operations on display in court filings in the organization’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed Monday in Fort Worth.

There’s also a detailed peek at the effort to sell the team, launched last year by owner Tom Hicks after his Hicks Sports Group defaulted on $525 million in loans to the Rangers and the Dallas Stars.

At least 15 prospective buyers and investors executed confidentiality agreements to learn more about the Rangers, according to a court filing by Kellie Fischer, chief financial officer of Texas Rangers Baseball Partners.

Beginning July 2, information packets were distributed to at least 10 parties that received approval from Major League Baseball to participate in the sale process.

The Rangers received six initial nonbinding bids by the Aug. 18 deadline, and Hicks and his advisers selected three bidders to advance to the second round. The Rangers and HSG also were exploring “a variety of other financing transactions,” according to Fischer.

On Nov. 20, the three bidders submitted final binding bids. During negotiations over the next two weeks, two of the bidders decided “to substantially enhance their original offers,” Fischer said. The filings did not identify the unsuccessful bidders.

On Dec. 15, Hicks chose a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Texas Rangers president and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.

“As the negotiations continued, the purchaser increased its offer by $10 million,” Fischer said.

The Greenberg-Ryan group includes two leading North Texas businessmen.

Billionaire Ray Davis is the former co-chief executive of Dallas-based energy companies Energy Transfer Partners and Energy Transfer Equity.

Bob Simpson is founder and chairman of XTO Energy Inc., an oil and natural gas producer in Fort Worth. Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. agreed to buy XTO in December in an all-stock transaction valued at $41 billion. XTO shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal June 25.