Hicks Ready to Sell Rangers

Stars not up for sale according to owner.

Tom Hicks is willing to give up control of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers if the right deal comes along, but he intends to keep the NHL's Dallas Stars.

Hicks said in late March that he was seeking minority investors to purchase up to 49 percent in each club. About a week later, the holding company that owns the clubs, Hicks Sports Group, defaulted on about $525 million in loans. Hicks said he intentionally made the move to help negotiate with banks.

"With the right partners, I would be willing to sell a controlling interest in the Rangers," Hicks said on Thursday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Not so with the Stars."

His intentions were first reported by the Star-Telegram.

On Thursday, Hicks announced he hired Raine, a new firm being created by media, telecommunications and sports expert Joe Ravitch, to identify potential investors in the team.

"My family and I want very much to stay involved with the club," Hicks said. "But, we understand that we have to be open to solutions that may include partners who own a controlling interest in the Rangers."

Hicks said that option was not the preferred one, but the one that was most appealing to investors.

"Personally, it's a difficult issue for us ... we must look at those alternatives because that's in the best interest for the franchise, the fans and everyone associated with the Rangers," Hicks said.

Hicks bought the Stars in 1996, and the team won the Stanley Cup three years later. In 1998, he purchased the Rangers from George W. Bush's group and Hicks created a stir in December 2000 when the Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to a $252 million, 10-year contract. Hicks has said he owns 95 percent of both teams.

Two years ago, he combined with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. to buy the English soccer club Liverpool through a different entity.

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