After a long, drawn-out auction process, Tom Hicks and the creditors of Hicks Sports Group have found an owner for the Texas Rangers. There's still another matter to be cleared up, however. What will happen with that other sports team owned by Hicks, the Dallas Stars?
Fans of the Stars hoped that Hicks wouldn't be forced into selling their team by the same creditors, thus avoiding the same mess that surrounded the Rangers' sale. But a new report from the Associated Press hints that the hockey club could be next on the auction block.
According to the team’s bankruptcy plan, creditors will only get about $75 million from the team, no matter who ends up buying it. But the judge has said lenders, who are owed about $525 million after team owner Tom Hicks’ financially strapped ownership group defaulted on loans, can go after Hicks’ other companies.
"Other companies" certainly would include another professional sports franchise. Our Stars blog, Defending Big D, worries what this means for their team.
Does this mean that the lenders will get involved in the sale of the Stars? Almost assuredly, but I'm also interested to see if this means they can go after Hicks-owned companies outside of HSG. I doubt it's that simple.
As it is, one sale is complete yet the lenders are only getting a fraction of what is owed to them. Around $200 million (I think) of the Rangers sale is tied up in assumed debt to the lenders (I think) and I'm assuming that the rest of this debt will be taken care of with the sale of the Stars (I think).
[Update - Here's what Dan Kaplan tweeted this morning from the courthouse: "proceeds to lenders rose from $210 mln to $340 mil bec of auction, rangers lenders attorney says"]
All we can hope is that Hicks -- and the slimy Galatioto firm -- has learned his lesson in all this, and will get the Stars sale off without nearly the amount of confusion, collusion and back-room deals that plagued the Rangers sale.
I'm praying someone swoops in and proves me wrong on all this.
There could be some uncertainty in the Stars front office in the near future.