Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars owner might be pressed by lenders to sell

Dallas billionaire Tom Hicks risks losing control of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars now that his sports firm, HSG, has formally defaulted on $525 million in loans, financial experts say.

Although experts agree that creditors could force HSG into bankruptcy, that possibility also appears to be a long way down the road.

"A banker doesn't want to own a baseball team, but it would be possible to put enough pressure on Hicks where the team ownership would be changed," said Stan Block, a finance professor at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.

Lenders have notified HSG that it has formally defaulted on $525 million in loans. Hicks said recently that he intentionally missed the March 31 interest payment as he tries to restructure the debt.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Hicks missed a $10 million quarterly interest payment on HSG loans. The paper reported that the largest lender is Galatioto Sports Partners, a New York sport-financing group, which has lent nearly $100 million to HSG.

In a statement on Tuesday, Hicks reiterated that he is in negotiations to restructure HSG's debt and emphasized that the baseball and hockey teams have not been affected by the discussions.

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