RBS wins injunction against Liverpool owners

By Michael Owen
anfield
(Photo: Andy Nugent)

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The Royal Bank of Scotland has obtained an injunction against Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to stop them from making changes to the board of the Kop group of companies.

The bank, which is owed £237million plus other additional costs by Hicks and Gillett, have obtained the interim injunction in order to prevent either of the shareholders from removing Chairman Martin Broughton—or any other director—from Liverpool’s board until the High Court hearing tomorrow.

The news comes after the American duo attempted to remove Managing Director Christian Purslow and Commercial Director Ian Ayre from the club’s board in an attempt to try and block a deal which would see New England Sports Ventures take over the club for a fee of around £300million.

RBS will meet “Tom Hicks and others” in court on Tuesday after 10.30am, with Mr Justice Floyd set to handle proceedings at the Royal Court. The legal action taken by the bank is however separate from the declaratory judgment needed by Broughton in order to approve the sale of the club.

A statement from RBS read: “RBS in its capacity as lender to the Kop group of companies received the benefit of various contractual undertakings from Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett in relation to the corporate governance arrangements that Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett agreed would apply to the Kop group of companies with effect from April 2010.

“Those undertakings provided for the appointment of Mr Broughton as chairman of the board and the appointment of the chief executive and commercial director of LFC to the Kop boards.

“As is well known, Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett purported to make changes to those corporate governance arrangements on 4 October. This was in breach of those contractual undertakings.

“In light of that purported breach of contract RBS sought and obtained on Friday 8 October 2010 an interim injunction against Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett until a further hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

“Among other things, that interim injunction prevents Mr Hicks or Mr Gillett taking any steps to remove or replace Mr Broughton from his position as chairman of the board of the Kop companies or from taking any other steps to appoint or remove any directors from the board of the Kop companies.

“The proceedings tomorrow represent the continuation of Friday’s proceedings and relates to breach of contract only. These proceedings do not represent steps by RBS to enforce its security or to appoint an administrator.

“We are unable to provide any visibility on timing for resolution of these proceedings at this stage.”

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