Tag:Jim Crane
Posted on: May 17, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 1:21 pm

Crane to finance Astros with $300 million in debt

By Evan Brunell

Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros will be heavily leveraged, with almost 50 percent of the total purchase price financed with debt, Forbes reports.

Crane is purchasing the Astros, the lease to Minute Maid Park and one-third interest in a new regional sports network slated to debut next year for $680 million, of which roughly $300 million will be financed with debt.

Forbes notes that baseball's debt rules -- which commissioner Bud Selig is so adamant about making sure the Dodgers meet -- require that you cannot have more than 10 times your earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in debt. Given Houston's operating income in 2010 was $14 million, Crane's $300 million in debt are more than double the alloted amount. Does baseball really want another team to add to the Dodgers and Mets that are in financial straits?

And yet, it's virtually assured that Crane will end up with the team. It pays to be one of Selig's boys.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 4:46 pm

Report: McLane to sell Astros to Crane next week

By Matt Snyder

Astros owner Drayton McLane has been trying to sell the ballclub since November and it appears he has a deal in place -- to the frequently rumored front-runner Jim Crane. McLane said Friday the two have agreed to terms and everything should be signed sometime next week.

"We have an understanding, and Jim's an honorable person, and I am, too," McLane said. "We have an overall agreement, but things come up. Lawyers draw up complicated contracts, and we have to get all those portions of it done." (MLB.com)

McLane bought the Astros for $117 million back in 1992, so -- although the terms of the agreement aren't yet public -- he's likely going to walk away with a pretty lofty profit, considering the value of the Astros is close to $500,000,000. (Forbes.com)

Under McLane's ownership, the Astros made six playoff trips in nine seasons, including the franchise's only appearance in the World Series (2005). They also moved from the Astro Dome to Minute Maid Park in 2000.

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Posted on: May 10, 2011 7:46 pm

Report: Jim Crane finalizing Astros purchase

McLaneBy Evan Brunell

A new owner for the Houston Astros could be in place shortly, as KTRK-TV in Houston reports.

While current owner Drayton McLane (pictured) continues to fend off reports that the sale is nearly complete, negotiations with Jim Crane have reached the point where "all that's left is the dotting of I's and crossing of T's and the team will be sold."

The purchase price is expected to be roughly $680 million, which is significantly higher than Forbes' valuation of the club at $474 million in spring training, but it's not clear yet just what is included in the purchase. Parking lots are often folded into team purchases, and that can jack up the price as well as stadium rights. Either way, it's a major profit for McLane, who grabbed the team in 1993 for $117 million.

This is not the first time Crane has tried to purchase the Astros. There was an agreement close to completion before Crane backed out. Crane later teamed up with Mark Cuban to try to win the Rangers in a bankruptcy auction, but lost to Nolan Ryan's group. While Crane's backing out caused consternation in the MLB offices, the lack of a clear front-runner for the team helped Crane, as McLane has been trying to sell the team for some time. Rays GM Andrew Friedman's father is trying to mount a bid but it appears as if it will have come too late.

Of recent purchases spanning back to 2000, the $680 million figure will be the third-most expensive purchase of a team behind Tom Rickett's Cubs purchase of $845 million in 2009 for a 95 percent interest in the club and 25 percent interest in Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Second is John Henry's $700 million purchase of the Red Sox that included the regional sports network of NESN. No other purchase comes close, with the runner up to Houston's expected value being Texas' $593 million winning bid.

Houston boasts baseball's worst record as well as a poor farm system, so hopefully Crane will be able to come in and turn the team around. New owners tend to prefer to have their own guys in influential positions, so GM Ed Wade's position is now in danger along with manager Brad Mills', although Mills figures to have more job security given his success skippering the team last season. Friedman has been linked to the Astros to replace Wade although he has deflected all talk of the subject. 

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 11:07 am

Report: Jim Crane closing in on buying Astros

By Evan Brunell

Jim Crane could be closing in on becoming the new owner of the Astros, KILT 610 AM reports via MLB.com, as current owner Drayton McLane has entered into an "exclusive negotiating window."

McLane refused to confirm reports of such a window, saying that he was negotiating with several people. "We're trying to do a deal with several people, and certain Jim Crane is one of them," McLane said.

Crane owns a business in Houston, which would satisfy McLane's preference for a local owner. The two sides had come close to a purchase after the 2008 season, but Crane backed out much to the consternation of many in the game. Crane has also pursued the Cubs and Rangers, teaming up with Mark Cuban to battle the eventual victorious group of Nolan Ryan's team in an auction for Texas.

The Astros could benefit from new leadership, as Houston has tailed off dramatically since reaching the 2005 World Series. The Astros roster is filled with many middling types while the farm system is among the worst in the game. It's definitely a franchise in need of a breath of fresh air.

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Posted on: November 19, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 3:16 pm

Cuban won't bid on Astros

Having been thwarted twice in attempts to buy major-league teams, including a court battle this summer over the Rangers, it would be natural to assume Mark Cuban's ears perked up at the news Drayton McLane has enlisted an investment firm to begin earnest efforts to sell the team. Jim Crane, Cuban's partner in the Rangers bid, nearly bought the Astros in 2008.

Cuban has told several reporters today, however, that he has no interest in buying the Astros.

A Houston TV station reported that the asking price will be $800 million. The latest Forbes valuation of the franchise was $453 million, but the sale would also include some portion of the new regional sports network CSN Houston, which has the contract to air Astros and Rockets games.

McLane has scheduled a news conference at 3:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss the sale.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com