McLane enters into negotiations for sale of Astros

January 11, 2010 5:10:43 PM PST
Eyewitness Sports has learned that Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane could be on the verge of selling the team.[SPORTS BLOG: Read the latest from the Eyewitness Sports team]

This past weekend, McLane signed a working letter of intent to sell the team to a group that would consist of a mix of local and out of town investors. The names haven't come forward yet, but we have found out that the big money is from out of town, where three to five investors would be involved, and there would be 10 to 12 smaller level local investors.

We're hearing the high end of the sale price could be around $700 million. They are in an exclusive negotiating period and have until the end of the month to come up with the money McLane wants or there's no deal.

On Monday, McLane told Eyewitness Sports anchor Bob Allen that the potential buyers would "have to show us that they have the financial capability to do the deal and they have to show us the people, because we'd only do something if it were really, highly reputable people and that there were a lot of Houston people that were involved in it."

McLane told Allen if this group could not come up with the money then he would be fine owning the team for several more years.

Allen also talked with Tilman Fertitta Monday who told us he is not part of this group and hasn't talked with McLane recently about the team.

The Houston Astros saw some of their most prosperous seasons under McLane. He bought the Astros from John McMullen in 1992 for $117 million. During his time as Astros chairman and chief executive officer, the team has ranked as the second-winningest team in the National League, and fifth-best in the majors. The Astros also played in their only World Series in 2005.