DALLAS — When Thomas O. Hicks retires next year from the private equity firm he founded in 1989, he won't be leaving the investment management business behind, but turning his attentions to real estate
His retirement will also be a test of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc.'s 3-year-old management structure, which was designed to help the firm withstand the ebb and flow of general partners as they cross the private equity firm's threshold.
"I'm a decade-orientated person. I'll be 59 in February, and looking at the next 10 years. I love the baseball and hockey business, and I've been trying to do it as a night job and private equity as a day job. It'll be a relief to focus," said Mr. Hicks, who owns the Dallas Stars hockey team and the Texas Rangers baseball team.
When he leaves the firm March 31, 2005, Mr. Hicks' name will still be on the door and he will continue as an investor, but he will be concentrating on Southwest Sports Realty, where he will work with two of his six children. And, if he gets bored, there's always the sports teams, his family and his family investments.
And he won't stop talking to executives at pension plans such as the $6.2 billion American Airlines fund, the $46.4 billion State of Michigan Retirement Systems and the $43.9 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, which have invested in a number of HMTF funds, he said.
"I'll be approaching pension funds for individual (real estate) projects," Mr. Hicks said. Southwest Sports develops sports complexes in areas where people live, work and go shopping, and he will be seeking money from pension funds to help finance the projects.