UPDATE 1-Ryan group sues Texas Rangers to enforce deal

Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:53pm EDT

* Nolan Ryan group wants sale agreement enforced

* Group says other buyers being sought

By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Del., July 12 (Reuters) - A group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan has sued the Texas Rangers to stop the Major League Baseball team from considering other potential buyers, according to court documents filed on Monday.

The Rangers filed for bankruptcy earlier this year to make it easier to sell the team, over objections of some creditors. A group including Ryan, the team's president, and Chuck Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney, offered $575 million to purchase the club.

Ryan's group asked the judge to enforce a sale agreement that prevents the team and its chief restructuring officer from talking to other potential buyers. They warned that delays could cost the group their financing commitments, which expire next month.

The group said the chief restructuring officer, or CRO, told them he intends to reject the current reorganization plan, including the sale, and will propose a new plan in the coming months.

The group said they "learned that the CRO was continuing discussions with other potential bidders and was contemplating making some sort of agreement with one of them regarding an alternative deal," the complaint said.

"The CRO does not, and never had, any authority to solicit alternative bids or negotiate with prospective bidders."

On Saturday, The New York Post reported that Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association Dallas Mavericks is joining forces with former sports agent Dennis Gilbert and Texas businessman Jeff Beck to consider a bid for the Rangers.

Cuban declined to comment.

The case is In re: Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, No. 10-43400. (Additional reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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