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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Rangers buyer not worried by delay

By Richard Durrett

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Prospective Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg said Wednesday that it will probably be after Opening Day before his ownership group gets everything finalized in the purchase of the club from Tom Hicks.

A source said the time frame is mid-April.

The deal, agreed upon in January, must be approved by Hicks Sports Group's 40 lenders and by 75 percent of Major League Baseball's owners. The latter isn't expected to be an issue. MLB's owners could approve the deal over a conference call or at a May owners meeting.

"I've worked on a lot of deals and very rarely do they hit the target date," Greenberg said. "This probably is going to be a couple of weeks past the original date, but that's not unusual. You set a date and you hope to reach it. It's a question of when, not if, the deal gets done."

Greenberg said he isn't concerned about the various reports involving unhappy creditors. Greenberg stressed that it's part of the complexity of the deal and to be expected.

"Everyone is working hard and there's nothing that's happening that would stop the process," Greenberg said. "This is consistent with what I've been saying all along that we had a target date and you sometimes don't quite hit that exact date. This will have no effect on the club or our ownership of it."

In fact, that's already happened in this agreement. Hicks Sports Group and the Greenberg group's exclusive negotiating window ended on Jan. 15 without a deal. But they worked for eight more days and agreed on the outstanding issues.

HSG defaulted on $525 million in loans in 2009 and put the club up for sale. Hicks is also trying to find a buyer for the Dallas Stars.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.