The Greenberg-Ryan ownership group, which includes Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, recently won bankruptcy court approval to purchase the Texas Rangers baseball team for $593 million. This came after a 16 hour auction bidding war with Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.
The chief restructuring officer appointed by the court had pushed for the auction which resulted in a sales price estimated at $100 million more than the original offer made by the Greenberg-Ryan group in a non-competitive bidding environment. The sales price is the second-highest ever for a baseball team and was described by the bankruptcy judge as “a remarkable result.”
This is a great example of a seller using a competitive bidding situation to improve their results. Auctions often work because they are designed to feed competitive buyers’ egos and need to “win.”
Of course, as a buyer you should do your strategic homework before you start bidding and focus on the item’s objective basis. This includes its independently determined market value and its possible subjective value to you.
Mark Cuban stated, “We bid to the limit we planned to bid to.” From this we can conclude he had previously set a goal and stuck to it, perhaps avoiding a battle of egos which can cause individuals to take irrational actions in the short-term that they regret in the long-term.