Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan holds the Major League Baseball record for career strikeouts, with 5,714. But he may have made his best pitch yet early Thursday morning when his group threw out a $385 million cash offer for the Texas Rangers and beat out techie and Dallas Mavericks basketball team owner Mark Cuban.
Nolan's bid, which came in after midnight during a bankruptcy court auction, included the $385 million in cash, as well as an assumption of debt and a hefty break up fee that would have been paid to Nolan and his co-investor, sports attorney Chuck Greenberg, if they had lost the bid, according to a Bloomberg report.
Cuban, who founded the multi-media streaming company Broadcast.com and high-definition TV network HDNet, led a group that offered $390 million. But when factoring in the breakup fee and other debts, it lowered the value of the bid to $373.2 million.
Despite losing out to Nolan, Cuban showed good sportsmanship, saying: "They deserve all the credit in the world, and I wish them complete success. We had our price we were willing to go up to, and their last bid pushed us to our limit. We couldn't bid again without going over our price."
Last year, current Rangers owner Thomas Hicks defaulted on $525 million in debt, setting in motion the sale of the company, according to the New York Times. Although Hicks arranged for a private sale to Ryan and Greenberg, Hicks' creditors balked at that arrangment which prompted Hicks to file for bankruptcy in May hoping that would speed up a sale to the former ace. For his part, Nolan will now own the team where he has served as president.
The bankruptcy court is expected to approve the sale later today and the deal will go before the Major League Baseball owners later this month for final approval.
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