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Old 24th January 2010, 13:23   #1
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Default Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks to sell Rangers to Ryan

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks to sell Rangers to Ryan
BBC, 24 January 2010

Liverpool Football Club co-owner Tom Hicks has agreed to sell his controlling interest in major league baseball side Texas Rangers.

The Hicks Sports Group, owners since 1998, is selling to a group headed by legendary former Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan and lawyer Chuck Greenberg.

The final sale price is thought to be in excess of $500m (£310.3m).

But the deal must first be approved by Major League Baseball (MLB) and Hicks Sports Group's creditors.

MLB rules require that the agreement must be reviewed by its ownership committee and approved by 75% of the 30 team owners.

The Rangers - who were owned by a group led by former US President George W. Bush in the early 1990s before he became governor of Texas - hope that the deal may be completed before the new MLB season starts on 5 April.

"It's a complex business deal that positions the franchise positively for the future," Hicks said in a statement.

Hall of Fame pitcher Ryan's total of 5,714 strikeouts in his 27-year career with Texas, the New York Mets, California Angels and Houston Astros is a major league record.

As well as having ownership interests in two of Houston's minor league affiliates, Ryan took over as the Rangers' club president in 2008 and will continue in that role.

Greenberg, who owns two minor league teams himself, is set to take over as managing general partner and chief executive officer.

In a separate transaction, the Hicks-controlled Ballpark Real Estate has agreed to sell or transfer roughly 153 of the 195 acres it owns surrounding the Rangers and Dallas Cowboys stadiums to the Greenberg-Ryan group.

Hicks bought Liverpool along with co-owner George Gillett in March 2007, but the Premier League club has taken on a large level of debt which has seen the two Americans criticised by some supporters' groups.

Last year, Gillett agreed to sell his 80% stake in the Montreal Canadiens NHL ice hockey team to help ease the financial pressure on the Anfield club.

However, Hicks says he intends to retain ownership of his NHL team, the Dallas Stars, which he has owned since 1996.
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