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Stars owner Tom Hicks won't sell NHL team, but may sell MLB's Rangers

NEW YORK - Tom Hicks is willing to give up control of 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 per cent in each club. About a week later, the holding company that owns the clubs, Hicks Sports Group, defaulted on about US$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 Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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 per cent 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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