Greenberg/Ryan win Texas Rangers auction

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - A group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg has won court approval to buy the Texas Rangers.

Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan approved the sale at a Thursday court hearing, following a marathon auction that began the prior day and ended just after midnight.

The $593 million sale includes $385 million in cash and the assumption of $208 million of liabilities.

Greenberg and Ryan, the current president of the Rangers, outbid a rival group led by National Basketball Association team owner Mark Cuban and Houston freight-forwarding executive Jim Crane.

The Greenberg-Ryan group had Major League Baseball's backing. The final hearing on the team's bankruptcy plan was scheduled for Thursday.

Cuban's group had offered $390 million cash as part of a $598 million bid. But the Greenberg-Ryan bid was considered higher because of the way the bids were structured -- including a $10 million to $13 million breakup fee that would have been paid to the Greenberg-Ryan group if it had not won.

Cuban and Crane did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The Rangers, currently fighting for a playoff spot, filed for bankruptcy protection in May in a move to close a sale to the Ryan-Greenberg group, which was picked as the preferred buyer in January.

The case is In re: Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, No. 10-43400.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore, Ben Klayman in Detroit and Tom Hals in Wilmington; editing by John Wallace, Bernard Orr)