Liverpool considering ‘several’ takeover offers

By Michael Owen
anfield(Photo: Andy Nugent)
Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton claims there are several bids on the table for the Merseyside club

anfield

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton claims there are several bids on the table for the Merseyside club.

The current British Airways chairman was brought in at Anfield as a part of the refinancing deal secured by Tom Hicks and George Gillett in April, with the sole aim of ensuring a smooth sale of the troubled Merseyside outfit.

Now Broughton is tasked with selecting a ‘preferred bidder’ from a number of reported offers, with hopes that a sale can be overseen before the end of the summer transfer window.

“It still remains the objective to conclude a deal before the end of the transfer window,” Broughton told the Guardian.

“That remains the objective but there are no deadlines, and we will continue working to complete the process.”

Current owners Hicks and Gillett could potentially walk away with a considerable profit from the deal if the quoted number of potential investors is proved to be accurate; though the pair are resigned to the fact they will not have the final say over who will take the helm at Anfield.

“There could be a possible realisation of an equity consideration,” Broughton said.

“But both George Gillett and Tom Hicks remain on the board and they have given commitments that the board of Kop Holdings [Liverpool’s UK parent] is the party that is responsible for the sale.”

It has been widely reported that Wall Street stock broker Kenneth Huang was hoping to acquire the clubs debt from the Royal Bank of Scotland in an attempt to gain financial control of the club, but Broughton insists this is not the case.

“Any bids that go straight to RBS – and there have been several – come to me and are directed to Barcap,” Broughton said. “RBS are not involved. The control remains with the board.”

Despite RBS remaining confident that Barclays Capital -the investment arm of Barclays Bank -will be able to sell the club before the next refinancing deadline in October, it is believed Huang would like to secure a deal before the end of the transfer window.

“He wants to get it done quickly so investment can come this summer,” a source close to his proposed bid claimed.

“Liverpool need investment in the playing squad and infrastructure, and Huang wants to build the [new] stadium. The club has an outstanding reputation but does not have the infrastructure to keep with it and make it grow.”

After Huang expressed interest in taking over the club, RBS referred him to Barclays Capital and the decision over whether to sell the club will be taken by the Kop Holdings board, which comprises of the two American owners, Martin Broughton, Managing Director Christian Purslow as well as Commerial Director Ian Ayre.

Reported interest from ex-Syrian footballer Yahya Kirdi, however, has been dismissed by sources inside RBS.

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