Following financial problems, including defaulting on a $525 million loan, Tom Hicks and Hicks Sports Group reached an agreement to sell the Texas Rangers to group headed by Pittsburgh sports lawyer Chuck Greenberg and Rangers team president Nolan Ryan for approximately $570 million on January 22, 2010. Hicks also sold much of the land surrounding Rangers Ballpark to Greenberg and Ryan's group in a separate deal.
However, one of HSG's principal lenders, Monarch Alternative Capital, opposed the sale on grounds that the proceeds would not fully repay the defaulted HSG notes. On April 21, Major League Baseball issued a statement declaring the Rangers' sale to be under the control of the Commissioner to expedite the process. As the stalemate between HSG and its creditors continued, the Texas Rangers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 24. As of that date, the Rangers and HSG had an estimated debt of $575 million. Much of the unsecured debt was owed in back salary. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez topped the list of unsecured creditors with an estimated $24.9 million owed by the Rangers. The sale would repay all the team's creditors, including Rodriguez and other players owed back salary. Following a court-ordered public auction to be held on August 4 with the winning bid submitted by Greenberg/Ryan, the bankruptcy court closed the case. The sale to Greenberg/Ryan was approved by all 30 MLB owners at the owners meeting in Minneapolis on August 12. The new ownership group was called Rangers Baseball Express, LLC and had Chuck Greenberg serving as managing general partner and Nolan Ryan as club president. Oil magnates Ray Davis and Bob R. Simpson paid the bulk of the $539 sale price, and became co-chairmen, with the largest stakes in the ownership group. However, they remained mostly in the background as senior consultants, leaving the team mostly in Greenberg and Ryan's hands.
In March 2011, Chick Greenberg resigned as Chief Executive and Managing General Partner and sold his interest in the Rangers after a falling out with his partners. Following his resignation, Nolan Ryan was named CEO in addition to his continuing role as team president. Ryan was subsequently approved as the team's controlling owner by a unanimous vote of the 30 owners of Major League Baseball on May 12.