Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reds Agree Takeover Terms

From BBC:

American duo George Gillett and Tom Hicks have reached an agreement to buy Liverpool, the club have announced.

The club have called a news conference at 1400 GMT to announce the details of the takeover.

Liverpool chairman David Moores, who will become an honorary life president, said: "This is a great step forward for its shareholders and its fans."

Hicks and Gillett, who beat off Dubai International Capital for the Reds, are owners of NHL ice hockey teams.

The offer is worth £5,000 per share, valuing the club at £174.1m, and along with the club's £44.8m debt their offer is worth £218.9m.

But the pair are also thought to have guaranteed over £200m towards the cost of building a new stadium.

A club statement said: "Liverpool FC today announced that the board have agreed the terms of an offer for the club from Mr George Gillett and Mr Tom Hicks.

"The board are unanimously recommending that the club's shareholders accept this offer."

Moores added: "This club is my passion and forms a huge part of my life. After much careful consideration, I have agreed to sell my shares to assist in securing the investment needed for the new stadium and for the playing squad.

"I am also delighted to accept the offer from the Hicks and Gillett families to continue my involvement in the club by becoming honorary life president."

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry added: "This is great for Liverpool, our supporters and the shareholders - it is the beginning of a new era for the club.

"They are bringing to the table tremendous and relevant experience, a passion for sport, real resources and a strong commitment to the traditions of Liverpool.

"They have made clear their intention to move as quickly as practicable on the financing and construction of our proposed new stadium at Stanley Park and also to support investment in the playing squad.

"This has been an important time for the club. We now have the right partners for the future. I am absolutely certain we have now ended up in the right place, with owners who will help the club succeed and prosper.

Hicks, who also owns the Texas Rangers baseball team, joined forces with Gillett to gazump rival bidders DIC last week.

Arrangements over the future of Liverpool's new stadium appear to have clinched the deal.

Hicks has built up a reputation for developing state-of-the-art stadia for his teams.

But his presence apparently ensured that Liverpool will not have to share their new Stanley Park ground with neighbours, Everton.

Gillett has impressed Liverpool with his proposals and the speed at which he completed due diligence - the process of investigation by potential investors - in three days.

The 68-year-old American has also stressed his experience in running successful sporting operations.

It is thought to be the first time that two owners of rival sports clubs in one league have combined to purchase a club in another.

"We fully acknowledge and appreciate the unique heritage and rich history of Liverpool and intend to respect this heritage in the future.

"The Hicks family and the Gillett family are extremely excited about continuing the club's legacy and tradition.

"We are particularly pleased that David Moores and Rick Parry will have a continuing involvement in the club. For us continuity and stability are keys to the future."


Total Share Capital: £174.1m
Clearing of debts: £44.8m
New Stadium Cost: £200m

Enterprise value: £218.9million

Drogballs: Point of note. There is reliable source that states the new stadium will start NEXT MONTH and we should be aware that Tom Hicks is an experienced sports franchise owner who builds state of the art stadia for his teams so I don't think we need to worry about the New Anfield.

Regarding sponsorship for next season, it will almost definitely not be Carlsberg and the source states that they have found a huge company to be our sponsor.

Hopefully, a bright and red future ahead of us. I shall reserve my comment to later and not jump to conclusion. But it is exciting times indeed.


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