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 Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Tue 24 Aug 2010 - 20:47

New overseas investor to make £400m offer for Liverpool, claims Keith Harris
Renowned deal-broker Keith Harris claims an overseas buyer is considering making an offer of between £400 million and £500 million for Liverpool.

By Telegraph staff and agencies
Published: 5:21PM BST 24 Aug 2010


Revelation: Football deal-broker Keith Harris has declared a new mystery buyer is ready to launch a £400-500 million bid for Liverpool The former Football League chairman, who has had a hand in the sales of Aston Villa, West Ham and Manchester City in the past, said due diligence has already been done.

Harris also said the party he was representing was not one mentioned publicly before.


''The overseas buyer we represent has completed due diligence. A huge amount of work has been done,'' he said.

''It is none of the groups mentioned in the press. The ball is now in our client's court to make an offer.

''I do not think the deal will be done before the transfer window closes this month but the next pressure point is October when some of the RBS loan of £237 million has to be repaid.

''It may happen then. But in the present climate these things are impossible to predict.''

Last week Hong Kong-based businessman Kenny Huang - whose interest was allied to the Chinese government - pulled out of the bidding process, while Syrian-Canadian Yahya Kirdi's much-publicised interest has been treated with scepticism.

Harris said history has taught him that those who went public before an agreement had been reached rarely succeeded.

''The Chinese government involvement was always a bit far-fetched,'' he told the London Evening Standard.

''In any takeover situation, when people resort to announcing it to the media, you have to question the seriousness of the offer.

''If the name of the prospective buyer comes out before the deal is done then probably it is never going to be done.

''Look at when Chelsea was sold in 2003. My firm was advising the club and we only knew of Roman Abramovich on the Thursday before the deal was completed the following Tuesday.''

Harris worked on a bid for Liverpool two years ago for Kuwaiti Nasser Al Khorafi, whom it is claimed agreed a deal for £300 million up front and another £100million based on financial performance only to pull out at the last minute.

''He just lost his appetite. No explanation was forthcoming,'' added Harris

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Tue 24 Aug 2010 - 21:01

This latest reported bid to buy LFC just sounds right. This is how real businessmen go about doing this type of deal.

This in in direct contrast to H & G and all the others who have gone public before actually doing the deal.

The due dilligence has been done , quietly and efficiently. all that remains is for the prospective buyer to make his offer for the club.

As to whether this can deal can be done quickly or not remains to be seen. For me the most worrying aspect of why LFC has not yet been sold is that
each prospetive purchaser has to sign a confidentiality agreement before being given full access to the accounts of LFC, it is after this has happend that all previous purchasers
have subsequently decided to end their interest. Now with the bank in control and the date of October 6th looming when H & G have to either pay down the debt or renogiate it which means the same thing and given that they haven't a cat in hells chance of doing so. And also given that the bank have sufficiently put the frighteners on H & G by stating they and not the club will be held personally responsible for any further roll up of interest to the extent that we haven't heard a squeak from them since!

I would expect any offer that allows RBS to renogitiate their debt or clear it and that they can walk away from, without being accused of selling LFC out at any cost will be accepted.

This is still not going to be done before the end of the transfer window though. You have to ask though with this deal being done so quietly and efficiently who has made the decision to go public with it now? And why?

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Wed 25 Aug 2010 - 12:02

Kenny Huang's takeover bid for Liverpool was ‘never made formal’
Chinese businessman Kenny Huang did not enter a formal bid for Liverpool after his “anchor investor” walked away because of the torrent of publicity surrounding the deal, Telegraph Sport can disclose.

By Paul Kelso
Published: 7:00AM BST 25 Aug 2010


Red dawn: Kenny Huang's main investor walked away because of the publicity surrounding the process Photo: AP On Tuesday night Marc Ganis, Huang’s American business partner, confirmed that there was no bid prior to their withdrawal from the process last week. “There was never a formal proposal submitted by us to the club and we have been very clear about that,” Ganis said.

Separately, Telegraph Sport has established that the credibility of the Huang bid in the eyes of Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton was undermined when they were forced to seek fresh money to replace a key investor. Sources close to Huang’s company, QSL Sports, claimed the investor walked away because of the publicity surrounding the process.


Ganis’s admission will fuel the suspicions of those who believe that Huang’s involvement was motivated by publicity, but Ganis claimed they were not responsible for briefings that established them as contenders.

“I am not going to dispute how it looks from the outside, but we had nothing to do with the publicity, and when the first stories about us appeared we had not submitted a single piece of paperwork [to Liverpool],” he said. “We wanted to stay under the radar and do this quietly, but that wasn’t possible. We have now withdrawn from the process, which is the end of the matter as far as we are concerned.”

Huang is also understood to have had concerns about the role of lawyers Weil, Gotshal and Magnes, who are acting for the club, having previously worked for Hicks.

A source close to Broughton said that the chairman was aware of the potential conflict of interest, and that Weil, Gotshal and Magnes would be asked to step aside if any conflict arose. The source said that the lawyers had been asked to stand down when Hicks and Gillett attempted to refinance their loans in June, a request the board blocked.

The admission that Huang did not even get as far as a solid proposal illustrates the lack of options for Broughton as he tries to secure a buyer. One source said last night “don’t hold your breath” when asked if a deal was likely before October.

With a sale unlikely, attention turns to the Royal Bank of Scotland and its intentions. If it calls in the debt of £237 million and effectively removes the owners it may simplify the sales process, but litigation and public-relations issues could follow.

Were the bank to extend the financing to the Americans it would risk a backlash on Merseyside. The supporters group Kop Faithful wrote to BarCap expressing their frustration at the lack of movement on a sale, calling for “new owners to be installed as soon as reasonably practicable”.

Meanwhile Keith Harris, chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, said he was acting for an overseas investor eying the club. “I do not think the deal will be done before the transfer window closes this month but the next pressure point is October when some of the RBS loan has to be repaid,” he said. “It may happen then. But in the present climate these things are impossible to predict

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Tue 7 Sep 2010 - 14:08

The story below only reflects what I have said previously in this post, That if I was a potential buyer of Liverpool I would wait until the blood was running in the streets before making my move. There are two considerations that need to be considered with this strategy;

Number One; If the bank are waiting until October 6th to basically legally repossess the club, they have effectively been in the control of the club for some time already. They may dissapoint any prospective purchaser that thinks they are going to buy the club on the cheap. As if they feel happy with running the club themselves and they know better than anyone the true situation regarding whether the debt can be serviced or not. They could afford to sit tight until the correct offer is made

Number Two; They have again blocked H & G from loading further debt onto the club so they may have already agreed a deal for the sale of the club but not made it public until they have effectively taken legal control of the ownership of the club after October 6th.

The other consideration is that miraculously H & G come up with the money to meet the next call for interest payment without borrowong against the assets of the club. Highly unlikely in my opinion as I have always maintained that these guys made their profit from the loans they stacked up on the club and would happily let LFC go bust and just walk away protected by their Limited Liabilty status. The fact the bank are now making them personally responsible for further interest payments must be focusing their attention somewhat on the situation but this could just be a ploy to keep them quiet and stop them from messing up any prospective sale or quite simply stop them from opposing a repossesion of the club. I would hope that it could also mean that the debt incurred in this rolled up Interest would no longer be taking into consideration by the accounts of the Club and make our balance sheet go from loss to profit as effectively they would have transferred this debt out of LFC onto H& G who after October 6 no longer own the club but are still liable for the interest on the loans.


Liverpool board would block mortgage attempts
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

September 7, 2010

Liverpool's owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks attempted to refinance their loans this summer by mortgaging the club's remaining assets - the stadium, training ground, players and guaranteed TV revenues.


Tom Hicks and George Gillett are deeply unpopular figures at Anfield

There are fears the American owners might attempt another refinancing deal ahead of the October 6 deadline to repay £237 million owed to Royal Bank of Scotland, plus the £60 million of additional fees run up since April.

But the rest of Liverpool's five-man board would - once again - legally block any attempt to use the players or stadium as 'assets' to raise a mortgage to pay off existing debts. Any refinancing will be opposed by the board who can outvote Hicks and Gillett 3-2, but the Americans might issue a legal challenge.

At present, the £40 million annual interest repayments come directly from club profits but ESPNsoccernet has learned that the debts are not loaded against the stadium and players.

When Hicks and Gillett tried to find a new £290 million 'mortgage' using the stadium and players as assets a few months ago, the board threw out the proposal and took legal advice to ensure that they were within their rights to do so.

With the October 6 bank deadline rapidly approaching, Hicks and Gillett stand to lose their stranglehold on Liverpool if RBS chooses to take over the club and hand it over to their asset recovery experts to sell as a distressed asset.

An RBS effective takeover of the club from the October 6 deadline would meet with Premier League approval. Liverpool have also informed the Premier League and UEFA that they have set aside financial measures to ensure that they can continue to pay the £8 million-a-month wage bill and fulfil their fixtures this season.

When asked if the club could still afford their substantial wage bill, a spokesman said: "Liverpool FC has prudent working capital facilities that allow the club to make proper provision for outgoings as and when they arise. These working capital facilities are totally satisfactory to both the Premier League and UEFA."

The annual wage bill in the 2008-09 accounts was £90.8 million and this year the figure will be around the same, but for the first time Liverpool have dipped into the red.

When asked whether the crippling £40 million interest repayments which wipe out all operating profits are paid monthly, putting a strain on the club's cash flow, the response was that, as such detail is not a matter of public record, the club have declined to answer.

However there are fears that the club is heading for financial meltdown unless a new owner can be found, and so far there are no "credible" bidders. There has been nothing from a mystery bid involving Keith Harris, let alone the Kenny Huang bid that also failed to materialise.

City experts are now estimating that Liverpool's price tag in an RBS fire sale could be as little as £150 million, far short of the original expectations of Hicks and Gillett, who demanded £800 million and then dropped their asking price to £600 million.

Talk of a takeover before the transfer window proved to be a disappointing false dawn, and City financiers believe the value of the club will now plummet.

Liverpool suspect that potential new owners are waiting to grab the club for a knock-down price when RBS faces the prospect of selling the club itself from the October 6 deadline, when the bank's £237 million loan has to be repaid.

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PostSubject: RBS gets Tough   Fri 10 Sep 2010 - 13:50

I will write a comment on the story below later.

moves to force George Gillett and Tom Hicks to sell Liverpool

• RBS places club's loans into its toxic-assets division
• Deadline for refinancing of owners' loans is 6 October


Matt Scott guardian.co.uk, Thursday 9 September 2010 19.42 BST Article history
A group of Liverpool fans wrote an open-letter to RBS this week claiming the club's owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were 'liars'. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tom Hicks and George Gillett's ill-starred reign as owners of Liverpool looks like having less than a month to run after the club's loans with Royal Bank of Scotland were placed into its toxic-assets division.

The deadline for the refinancing of the owners' personal loans from RBS is 6 October, and that now looks set to be the date that Hicks and Gillett's association with England's most successful club will end. The bank's decision to switch the debts to its Global Restructuring Group is the strongest possible signal that these loans will not be extended.

The co-owners' previous attempt to refinance the debts in June, when they are believed to have offered to secure the loans against their US assets, was overruled by the club's board, led by the chairman, Martin Broughton. Now, with the loans having been shifted into RBS's so-called "bad bank", where all toxic assets have been housed since last year, it is clear the club's lender has also adopted a more steely stance towards the Americans.

One source with a knowledge of Liverpool's dealings with RBS said: "If it has been taken out of the hands of the corporate banking department they'll have a much more ruthless approach on 6 October." An informed view from another source close to the situation is that the bank would hope to sell the club, possibly at a knockdown price, in the coming weeks or as soon possible after 6 October.

According to the club's accounts to July 2009 Liverpool's owners owe £237.4m to RBS. Through companies in the UK and overseas, Hicks and Gillett are also personally exposed to tens of millions of pounds in other commitments to the club and its lender. These have been a mixture of cash, which the pair have injected through equity, and guarantees to the RBS loans. Last year's accounts stated these amounted to £145.3m, but it is believed to have risen dramatically after the last refinancing agreed five months ago.

RBS would hope to achieve an orderly sale without having to take control of Liverpool. However, depending on the terms of the April refinancing agreement – which have never been made public – that may prove difficult if the co-owners, who value the club at £800m, refuse to go quietly.

One tool at RBS's disposal is to force the insolvency of Liverpool's UK parent and associated companies. It is clear from mortgage documents lodged with Companies House that in the event of default RBS has the power to place Kop Football and Kop Football (Holdings), as well as Gillett's loan-security vehicle, Football UK Ltd, into administration. However that would be unpalatable for the bank, Liverpool's board and the Premier League since it would require the imposition of a nine-point penalty on the club.

By exercising those clauses the bank would also effectively take control of Liverpool. Although RBS's restructuring group describes itself as being responsible for "the management of any problem lending portfolios", the bank has no long-term plans to hold the club as its subsidiary. Instead it is expected RBS would prefer to fulfil another of its stated aims – the "maximising [of] debt recoveries" – by selling the club in short order.

That means there are also strong signs RBS will now be prepared to accept a knockdown price in order to cut its ties. During negotiations with prospective buyers Broughton, and the investment bank advising him, Barclays Capital, have maintained that Liverpool's debts with RBS must be paid in full as a minimum sale price.

Provided buyers still retain an interest in taking over Liverpool beyond 6 October, it will mean a more orderly sale process. There would be only one party for purchasers to negotiate with and the club's debts would be manageable.

The departure of Hicks and Gillett is an outcome that would delight Liverpool fans. The Kop Faithful group wrote in an open letter to the RBS group's chief executive, Stephen Hester, this week: "Hicks and Gillett were proved to be no more than a pair of liars. The promised 'no Glazer style buy out' was all of a sudden [a leveraged buy out] – a club £350m in debt to effectively buy itself, when it had been sold for less than £180m in what seemed no time before."

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Fri 10 Sep 2010 - 14:05

Royal Bank of Scotland shifted the loans of Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett into its "bad debts" division in March as part of negotiations over the future of the club.

By Paul Kelso
Published: 9:49PM BST 09 Sep 2010




Well supported: Liverpool fans will hope that whatever changes happen in the Anfield club's off-field situation the players will improve on the pitch Photo: GETTY IMAGES Sources with knowledge of the deal told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday night that the decision was taken to shift the American’s £237 million loan to RBS’s Global Restructuring Group when Hicks and Gillett were in negotiations over extending their financing deal with the bank.

The outstanding debt secured against Liverpool's holding companies was largely incurred in the purchase of Liverpool in 2007. When debts secured against the club are included the complete debt package totals £351m.


By shifting management of the loans from the bank’s corporate arm in the spring, RBS may have effectively emphasised to Hicks and Gillett their growing impatience with the financial position at Liverpool.

In the years following their purchase of the club RBS has demanded increasing levels of security from the Americans, including rising personal guarantees.

The banks’ patience had worn thin by the spring, and the shift to the restructuring group was part of the negotiation process that culminated in Hicks and Gillett agreeeing to put the club up for sale and appoint Martin Broughton as chairman to oversee the process.

In return RBS agreed to extend its financing deal to the American’s for a further six months, albeit on apparently more onerous terms.

That deadline expires on Oct 6 at which point the bank will face a crucial decision.

Attempts to sell the club have failed so far, with a flurry of activity at the start of August culminating in two apparently interested parties, Sahara and Chinese businessman Kenneth Huang ruling themselves out.

RBS could extend the financing for a further term to allow Broughton to try and complete a sale, or sell the debt to a third party who could then call in the loan from the Americans.

It could also call in the debt itself, effectively forcing the American’s out of the club and then run it for a period while it searched for a buyer.

That would simplify the process and probably reduce the price, but it would still be a huge step for the bank given the public relations implications and the volatility involved in running a Premier League football club.


Bloated Anfield

When Liverpool’s playing staff crept up to 62 last year, it prompted a withering attack from Uefa on the size of squads retained by the Premier League’s Big Four.

“Ridiculous,” said general secretary David Taylor. “You can only field 11 at one time.”

For the current campaign, Liverpool have 21 designated squad players, but another 53 who fall under the category of Under 21 and scholars, making a total of 74. Arsenal lead the way with 76, while Blackpool have the smallest squad at 46.

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Mon 13 Sep 2010 - 12:22

Regarding the articles above, when I first saw that Liverpool, debt with RBS had been placed into the toxic debt department of RBS I was extremely worried. I thought that the debt could be sold at a fire sale price by this department to anyone who came up with a suitable bid be they an asset stipper or whoever. I really did fear the worst.

Then I saw that this had in fact not just happened but had happened in March of this year. I then looked at how the club has been run since and the lack of any further damage being inflicted by public statements being made by H & G since then. So the worry started to subside a little, but only a little.

Without a clear statement from RBS as to how they intend to move forward from this position I will remain worried. I am hoping in my heart that RBS would dearly love to be making this public statement that they will not under any circumstances just sell out to the highest bidder to recover the maximum amount they can. That the reason they cannot make this staement is due to the possibilty of a legal challenge from H & G if they wer to do so or even the rath of the taxpayers whose money legally it is since RBS were bailed out by the gouvernment. And the taxpayer would have a point that they are not there to prop up LFC.

I can only sincerely hope that after the Oct 6th deadline when H & G cannot meet the debt call the banks hands will then effectively be freed to negotiate a deal witht he right person to take the club forward. I remain optimistic that there are buyers out there who recognise that LFC has unlocked potential as a business that with the right commercial guidance and a new stadium would make it a worthwhile investment.

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 13:11

Personally I take the story below with a pinch of salt as I don't realistically see where these two can raise the neccessary finance. And even if they could it
would have to be on terms acceptable to the majority of the board who have already blocked previous attemps to do exactly the same thing. The board have to make the statement that they will consider all options including H & G. I don't believe legally they could say otherwise.


Hicks met with Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton in London on Wednesday and is understood to have told him that raising fresh finance to buy out the RBS debt is one of a number of options he is considering ahead of the Oct 6 refinancing deadline set by the bank.

Hicks’s discussions with Broughton took place with co-owner George Gillett in talks with an American lender intended to protect his 50 per cent stake in the club, which could be vulnerable if he fails to renegotiate a $75 million loan secured against the shares in 2008.


Gillett secured the loan from funders Mill Financial in 2008 to help him meet personal guarantees demanded by RBS in a previous round of refinancing, putting up his shares in the club as collateral.

Mill Financial called in the loan this summer and Gillett could technically be in default if he takes no action in the short-term, but sources with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday night that he was in talks to extend the loan and remains in control of his shares. He is also understood to be working closely with Hicks on the refinancing options that would allow them both to remain in control.

While Hicks is not thought to have met with RBS during his UK visit the bank is considering extending its financing to the American’s in order to provide Broughton with more time to secure a buyer for the club.

Bank sources have told Telegraph Sport that taking control at Anfield is their least-favoured option, and that they will consider extending the current financing arrangement if required.

Were Hicks to be successful in raising the money to buy out RBS, Broughton and his colleagues on the club board would have to decide whether to attempt to block the deal.

Broughton, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre blocked the American’s last attempt to refinance in June. They did so only having taken legal advice from Slaughter & May that they were able to do so.

Company law requires directors to act in the best interests of the shareholders - in this case Hicks and Gillett - but in some circumstances they can over-ride those concerns if it is deemed to be in the company’s interests.

If Hicks returns with a refinancing deal before Oct 6 they will face the same choice. Broughton is understood to have told Hicks on Wednesday that the board remain open-minded and will listen to any proposal he places before it.

Broughton, who was appointed in April as a condition of RBS extending the financing to the Americans for six months, has made it clear that he considers the sale of the club to an owner who removes the club’s debt and allows investment in a new stadium to be the best deal for Liverpool’s future.

The absence of any buyers willing to meet Hicks’ and Gillett’s valuation has placed RBS in a deeply uncomfortable position, and despite pressure from supporters there appears to be little appetite within the bank to force the American’s into default.

While RBS has moved the loans to its “bad bank”, the global restructuring group, Hicks has consistently maintained that Liverpool is a growing and increasingly profitable company rather than a distressed asset.

His pursuit of a potential refinancing deal indicates his determination to remain involved and recognise value from the club

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 14:27


George Gillett’s reign at Liverpool is on the verge of ending - with Tom Hicks ready to launch a bid to seize control of the club.

Gillett has been battling financial problems in America and is facing a deadline next month from Royal Bank of Scotland on a £75million loan set against his 50 per cent stake in Liverpool.

As the American’s financial empire continues to struggle, his partner Tom Hicks is desperately trying to take control - by forcing through a refinancing package at Anfield.

That will outrage the club’s disillusioned fans, who turned out in disappointing numbers last night for the Europa League game against Steaua Bucharest.

Hicks is even thought to have already approached several American banks - one of which is FBR Capital Markets, which has offices in Washington and London - to try to raise enough capital to buy Gillett’s credit note and pay off the Royal Bank of Scotland debt of around £230million.

Gillett borrowed the £75million from U.S. Hedge Fund Mill Financial, an arm of Springfield Financial Co, back in 2008, when he and Hicks were forced to reduce their debt placed on Liverpool by lenders RBS.

The Colorado-based businessmen extended that loan at the end of 2008, but when the company called it in earlier this summer, he was unable to find the funds to repay them, and sources say he may have no option but to default.

That leaves the prospect of his 50 per cent in the club being taken as collateral, a situation that leaves him powerless to resist the sale of his shares.

But Hicks is now desperately trying to find the finance to take full control of the club by buying his partner’s debt note from Mill Financial, giving him sole ownership.

The Texan has held a series of meetings in London - one of which was with the Reds board - as the October 11 deadline approaches when the RBS demand repayment of a sizeable chunk of their £280 million debt.

He has already failed in one attempt to gain control, back in June, when the Anfield board members Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre blocked their plans.

Now Hicks is trying to bypass the board, where he is outnumbered, to take out a new refinancing package, which would allow him to keep control of the club.

Hicks is concerned that he can not find a buyer at the price he needs to make a profit on his purchase of Liverpool, and refinancing would give him more time to sell.

But that would incense Liverpool fans, who are desperate to force him and Gillett out of the club, and are now busy lobbying the RBS and other financial institutions, in an attempt to persuade them not to extend any more credit.

The Americans’ debts on Liverpool currently stand at in excess of £350million, with interest of £20million in August alone running up on their account with the RBS, and they would need to sell at above £40million to even break even on their investment.

That is why Hicks is so feverishly looking to salvage the situation, even as Gillett finally seems to have accepted his tenure at Anfield is over, by preparing to default.

It is a critical time for Liverpool, with their lenders the RBS setting an early October deadline for the situation to be resolved.

If Hicks can’t find new backing in the next fortnight, then he is likely to be left in a position where he will also need to default - on the loan to the RBS – and that would see the ownership of the club finally change hands.

But if he does get a refinancing package from FBR or any other financial institution, then Liverpool fans are set to stage mass protests and walks outs at the club, with a boycott also planned



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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Mon 20 Sep 2010 - 11:52

Tom Hicks courts hedge fund Blackstone in desperate bid to stay in control at Liverpool
Tom Hicks’s last-ditch plan to retain control of Liverpool would see the hedge fund Blackstone offer the club a substantial equity injection to reduce Anfield’s debt burden to about £100 million – a similar offer to that turned down by the Texan from the Rhône Group in April.

By Rory Smith
Published: 7:00AM BST 20 Sep 2010
Sign of the times: Liverpool fans want Tom Hicks and George Gillett out of the club It was Hicks’s refusal to countenance an offer from Rhône, which had offered £110 million for a 40 per cent stake in the club, prompting the Royal Bank of Scotland, which holds the majority of Liverpool’s £282 million debt, to appoint Martin Broughton as chairman and instruct Barclays Capital to secure new owners for Anfield.

That Hicks is now prepared not just to consider such an offer but actively to court Blackstone, one of 11 potential investors identified by Barcap, according to a document received by the supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly, is a measure of how desperate he is to remain at Anfield despite agreeing to sell the club six months ago.


Hicks called a full board meeting in London last Wednesday and informed Broughton of his intention to agree a package that would enable him to remain at Anfield beyond the early October deadline set by RBS for the repayment of its loans.

The Texan’s plan centres on being granted a loan to refinance £100 million of Liverpool’s debt – all but wiping the RBS loan from the balance sheet – and seeing Blackstone inject as much as £180 million of equity into the club.

Though that would greatly reduce Liverpool’s headline debt figure and the onerous interest repayments which have hamstrung the club for so long under the tenure of Hicks and George Gillett, his partner, Liverpool would not be cleared of debt entirely.

There also remains some doubt over whether Hicks plans for Blackstone to take shares in the club in exchange for their cash injection or whether the equity would involve high-interest payment in kind notes, like those employed by the Glazers at Manchester United.

Hicks’s plan is likely to be opposed by Broughton, managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre, the remaining three members of Liverpool’s board. It is not known, though, whether they would be able to block such a move, and the legal firm Slaughter and May has been engaged to assess their options.

The Premier League would also have to approve any substantial change to the ownership structure to ensure that Liverpool would be able to meet their debt obligations and were not at risk of failing to fulfil their fixture requirements for the season

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Mon 20 Sep 2010 - 18:33

Pretty much what we all knew would happen has happened.


..Liverpool look no closer to resolving their ownership issues after the Blackstone investment group ruled out financially backing co-owner Tom Hicks with a full buy out.

Hicks had been linked in a Sunday newspaper to be close to arranging a £280million deal to take partner George Gillett's stake in the Merseyside club and take full charge for the next two years.

It is understood that the Blackstone group held talks with Hicks several weeks ago to allow him to pay off the £237million debt that was owed to the Royal Bank of Scotland in mid-October.

However, it would appear that they have opted against any deal to leave Hicks, who placed the club up for sale alongside Gillett in April this year, no closer to arranging a sale.

Relief
The decision is likely to come as a relief to many of the club's supporters, who have lodged fierce protests over their American owners, with the Texan in particular, about the way they have run the club since buying it in 2007.

Liverpool have seen several degrees of interest fall by the wayside in recent months, with Chinese businessman Kenny Huang's consortium and one run by Syrian tycoon Yahya Kirdi both ruling out takeovers.

With Martin Broughton installed as a new chairman and go-between for negotiations between potential buyers, a deal to sell the club was thought to be under increasing importance to the future of the club.

However, with no takeover happening in time for the end of the August transfer window, manager Roy Hodgson has had little finances to play with.

Hicks in particular is still desperate to maximise a profit and sell the club for around £600million, but it is thought that he has been advised that a figure rising above £400million is an unlikely prospect.

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Mon 20 Sep 2010 - 18:45

This latest attempt by Hicks to hang on at Liverpool perhaps explains why no buyer has come forward.

The possibility that he could launch some sort of legal challenge regardless of how flimsy the basis of his legal argument might or might not be
be explains the statement from the Middle east buyer that they would not be making an offer for LFC at this time. That was released just before the Huang bid was "Pulled"

I am guessing that any bidder quite simply prefers to wait until H& G have both legaly defaulted ( Gillet has already) and RBS have legal possesion of the club as opposed to the legal control that they already have.

When these 2 jokers are no longer in a position to mount any sort of legal challenge to a new bid we might just see it happen.

I just don't believe there is not a buyer out there for LFC at £400 million!

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Wed 22 Sep 2010 - 15:35

Now this is the best news I have heard for sometime. For Purslow to be making this statement he and the rest of the 3 man majority on the board of LFC must be very, very sure of their ground. So unless Hicks has other assets he is prepared to put up to secure funding and meet the interest payments without in any way further indebting LFC it is good night Vienna for him. youpi


Purslow: Liverpool will not go into administration
22 Sep 2010 - 13:00:32


Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow has dismissed fears the club will go bust should the current ownership issues not be successfully resolved.

But he has warned Tom Hicks, who is trying to put together a package to restructure his loans and buy out fellow co-owner George Gillett, that the board will not allow him to use Liverpool's assets as security in any refinancing deal. The two Americans owe £237million plus additional huge penalty fees to the Royal Bank of Scotland and the loan is up for repayment or renegotiation in mid-October.

"Liverpool Football Club is not going bust. We have an extremely healthy business with record revenues and we are highly profitable," Purslow said.

"We have cash, we are solvent, we have banking facilities which last beyond the end of next season and we are heavily scrutinised by the Premier League.

"To achieve our UEFA licence we went through that process and they were very happy with what they saw - so I cannot conceive of a situation where Liverpool Football Club could go into administration.

"The issue today is that too much of our profit is being used to service loans put into place when the club was bought.

"We are dealing with that issue. When we sell the business that debt will be reduced or go away, which will make us the most profitable club in the Premier League."

Hicks has already had one refinancing project vetoed by the club's board, when Purslow, chairman Martin Broughton and commercial director Ian Ayre out-voted the two Americans.

When the Texan entered into discussions with investment group Blackstone last week the rest of the board began exploring the possibility of a legal challenge.

Blackstone ruled themselves out of the proposal on Monday and Purslow stressed no new refinancing would be allowed which aimed to utilise assets like Anfield, the club's Melwood training ground or even players.

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Sun 26 Sep 2010 - 15:58

There are a number of stories flying about in the press today about us going into administration and suffering a points deduction.

This is just the press fantasising in my opinion as the only part of the club that could go into administration is "Kop Holdings" the holding company of
H & G.

LFC are however a going concern that have already given the Premier League guarantees that the prem are happy with.

Kop Holdings going into administration does not affect LFC. This is not a scenario where a club sends a holding company into administration to avoid meeting their liabilities
and then start up again under a new name. The only victims of Kop Holdings going bust would be H & G and any bank that we don't know about who might have loaned
money to Kop Holdings. Therefore no need for the Prem to get involved.

But the sooner this mess is sorted out the better.

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Tue 28 Sep 2010 - 12:19



By Henry Winter
Published: 8:00AM BST 28 Sep 2010


Kop out: Liverpool fans are determined to force Tom Hicks and George Gillett out of their club
The Premier League hosts are so keen for these carpetbaggers’ exit that they have been in contact with Royal Bank of Scotland, who could call in the loathed Americans’ loan in October.
The prospect of a famous, if debt-ridden footballing institution passing into the hands of a state-owned bank causes concern in certain quarters, but it is understood that such stewardship would not be an issue for the Government. RBS would be expected to sell Liverpool on reasonably quickly.


The more one peers through the fires burning around Anfield the more it becomes apparent that Liverpool’s future can best be secured only by RBS assuming temporary control. Hicks seeks to refinance, a doomsday scenario that RBS and other firms such as Citibank must resist.
RBS’s intentions are not known but anyone who cares about Liverpool will hope the bank calls Hicks’s bluff in his game of brinkmanship, calls in the loan and calls time on the Americans’ disastrous reign. Any potential buyer will sensibly wait until RBS’s Oct 15 deadline, when Liverpool will be available at a far more realistic price. As well as eliciting schadenfreude at Hicks and Gillett losing out, it would conclude an embarrassing episode in the history of English football.
Premier League officials communicate regularly with the Liverpool chairman, Martin Broughton, and the chief executive, Christian Purslow. If RBS does the right thing by Liverpool, the Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Scudamore, must then work closely with the bank to find the right new owner. Someone with money and integrity would be nice.
Scudamore’s organisation is understandably wary about gatecrashing the boardroom of a member club. Other clubs, for all their outward expressions of altruism towards Liverpool, might harbour private grievances if a rival was bolstered. But one painful memory should guide Premier League thinking: it fiddled while Portsmouth burned. Scudamore must get more involved.
Liverpool supporters also have a key role to play in assisting RBS. If the bank does take on the Americans, the fans must redouble their backing for Steven Gerrard and the team, showing why Liverpool are special. This is Anfield, this is worth investing in.
Having spent part of the year helping Kenny Dalglish write his memoirs, this observer is fully cognisant of the deep passions stirred by Liverpool. Saturday’s 9,000-strong demonstration on the Kop underlined that.
Fans can aid RBS in pushing Hicks and Gillett out the door by being patient, by eschewing any action that might scare off potential buyers. The emotion flowing from the Kop is both a positive and a negative in the eyes of investors. RBS needs the fans’ support before getting the party started again at Liverpool.
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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Tue 28 Sep 2010 - 13:02

Thanks Red, I think the article from Henry Winter hits the nail on the head.

Whilst the fans demonstrating in the stadium for the removal of H & G might be met with approval by certain quarters
I think Henry Winter is right in asking the question is this behaviour going to put off any prospective buyer?

It is a valid question as the fans could be defeating their own aims by effectively killing any interest in the club from a prospective new
owner who could well be asking the question do I really want to get involved with this lot?

My personal view is and always has been that the SOS are doing nothing but harm to Liverpool FC.

You might find this a strange comment coming from a fan so I will explain my reasoning.

I do not believe that the SOS has had any influence at all on the various financial instutuions that they have lobbied in their decision making.
The banks who might lend or might not lend will make their decision based as always on the financial merits of the proposition before them.

However prospective owners will look at the fans behaviour. If fans groups are causing these problems for the present owners and don't forget they have tried
to physically attack the cars of H & G to prevent them from arriving at the stadium. And are promoting a boycott of the Clubs goods affecting future profits. It is reasobnable for any
prospective owner to ask the question "Would they do the same thing to us if they didn't like a decision we took?"

So if these groups truly have the interests of LFC at heart wouldn't it be better to wait until the due date of the loans in October to see what happens?

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Wed 6 Oct 2010 - 13:21

The latest news on the prospective bid for the club by the American company New England Sports Ventures would seem to ask many more questions than it answers.

The first question for me would have to be why is the club being sold now rather than after the Oct 15 deadline for H & G to repay their loans?

The second is if H & G have been legally blocked from loading more debt onto LFC by the present board of Broughton, Purslow and Ayres why would H & G think they can now lodge a legal challenge
to the sale by the same board.

The third question is why have H & G ( although to be more accurate perhaps we should be just saying H as G has very little to say these days) waited until a decision on a sale was going to be taken before making their legal challenge.

There are many more questions knocking around in my head about this latest development but lets try not to make things any more complicated than they already are.

The first question I am assuming the answer is one of two or possibly a combination of these factors.

The RBS do not want to publicly be seen to be owners of Football club at a time when we are looking at UK banks possibly having to ask the gouvernment for another hand out of taxpayers money Taxpayers could quite rightly say not with our money.

The second is the worry of possible action from the Premier League if the only way of RBS taking legal control of the club would be to put the club into administration therefore incurring a points penalty.

The second question can only make sense from the point of view that Hicks bears a terrible grudge against LFC and its supporters for the treatment he and his family have suffered at the hands of mainly SOS. I have felt this guy would never go quietly. If he truly believes he can win a legal challenge then it would have made sense to have launched this challenge when he was effectively blocked from loading more debt onto the club. Also if you note the comments of Broughton that the owners have effectively done everything possible to block any move that would have put the club on a better financial footing this would tend to prove the point. I have always maintained that H & G effectively made a profit when they bought LFC and they took that profit out of the loans they loaded onto the club. That they could eventually let LFC go bust and already have their profit in their pocket and be protected by their Limited company liabilty status. I firmly belive that Hicks is doing nothing other than trying to ensure he can inflict the maximum amount of damage on LFC that he possibly can for no other reason than personal animosity. There is no logical business reason for his behaviour.

The third question as to why he has waited, I think I have already answered but would add sheer desperation as an answer as well combined with the fact that now he knows the price being offered
for the club, he may have secured debt against his LFC holding through his offshore structure Kop Holdings that would mean he is taking a financial loss.

We can only hope the legal challenge is dealt with promptly and comes down in favour of Broughton and co as the alternative would mean RBS repossesing the club something they seem reluctant to do for reasons we do not yet know.

As for the prospective buyer I think it is far too early to begin commenting on that.


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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Wed 6 Oct 2010 - 13:45

Liverpool could escape points deduction if Tom Hicks and George Gillett's holding company goes into administration
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER Last updated at 11:14 AM on 6th October 2010


Liverpool may not be docked points even if the club's American owners' company Kop Holdings goes into administration next week.
There have been suggestions that if Tom Hicks and George Gillett block a £300million takeover for the club by New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, then their holding company would be put into administration by the Royal Bank of Scotland over their unpaid £280million debts.
Premier League sources say that whether a points deduction would come into effect remains unclear.
Liverpool would argue that under new Premier League rules regarding parent companies, if the club itself is a fully solvent entity - as Liverpool are - then the penalty clause should not apply.
A Premier League source said: 'The aim of the regulations is primarily to capture clubs who have gone into insolvency.'
For example, last year West Ham's Icelandic owners went into administration but that did not lead to any Premier League action as the club itself was solvent.


All prospective owners are obliged to give the league 10 days notice of a takeover and prove they have the funds to sustain the club.
Any prospective owner has to have a face-to-face meeting with league chiefs to convince them they have enough money for the season to come.





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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Wed 6 Oct 2010 - 19:12

Liverpool FC chairman Martin Broughton confident sale to New England Sports Ventures will go ahead
Oct 6 2010

Liverpool FC chairman Martin Broughton is confident the club will win their legal battle against owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to allow the sale of the club to go ahead.

Although a £300million deal to sell to New England Sports Ventures, the owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, was announced on Wednesday morning, Hicks and Gillett are opposed to the plan and will challenge the board’s authority to push it through.

That means the issue will have to go to court but Broughton, who was brought in to oversee the sale process in April and alongside managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre outvoted the Americans three-to-two in support of the sale to NESV, is optimistic of success.

"The key thing is the court case," he said.

"We need to go to the court to get a declaratory judgement, which is for the court to declare that we did act validly in completing the sale agreement, and then the buyers can complete the sale.

"We have to get Premier League approval and I’m certain that’s not going to be an issue. There are one or two minor things like that but the key issue is the court, which should meet I would think next week sometime. That is the most likely time, in short order. There is an appeal process but that is also very fast.

"If they (Hicks and Gillett) win the court case they can block the sale but then we may have one or two other thoughts in mind as well.

"I am confident. I wouldn’t have taken the board through that process yesterday if I hadn’t been confident.

"I wouldn’t have exposed everybody to that risk if I hadn’t been confident, but you can never be certain. These things are legal judgements. We have been properly advised and I am confident."

Broughton claimed the American owners were going back on pledges they made earlier in the year, when major creditor Royal Bank of Scotland extended their finance arrangement until next week.

Changes at board level, one of which was Broughton’s appointment, were put in place to ensure Hicks and Gillett could not veto a sale as they no longer had a majority vote or held the power in the boardroom.

So Broughton was annoyed on Tuesday when the owners attempted to remove Purslow and Ayre and replace them with allies from family and business.

"The owners felt we were reviewing two bids which they considered undervalued the club and therefore they wished to remove Christian and Ian and replace them with Mack Hicks, who is Tom’s son, and Lori McCutcheon, who also works with him," said the chairman.

"We don’t think it was valid to do it. Essentially when I took the role they gave a couple of written undertakings to Royal Bank of Scotland.

"Those written undertakings included that I was the only person entitled to change the board and that was written into the articles of the covenants, and also that they would take no action to frustrate any reasonable sale.

"I think they flagrantly abused both of those written undertakings."

Broughton is disappointed in Hicks and Gillett’s conduct, although his suggestion that this was their chance to leave Anfield with a modicum of decorum is unlikely to be supported by fans, many of whom view the pair as hate figures.

"This was frankly their last chance to leave Liverpool with their heads high and they have chosen to go this route," Broughton said.

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PostSubject: Re: Attempt to force Gillet and Hicks Out   Mon 11 Oct 2010 - 19:12

Hope this guys interpretation is right

A fair Kop?
by Bernd Ratzke
Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton seems to have finally found a viable bid for the club. But do shareholders Tom Hicks and George Gillett have the power to block the deal? Legal expert Bernd Ratzke discusses the likely outcome of next week's High Court challenge

Liverpool FC co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have a tough battle on their hands. The American duo, shareholders of Kop Football (Holdings) Limited, will take their case to the High Court next week in an attempt to force the board to abandon its plans to sell the football club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV). Hicks and Gillett are unhappy with the £300m offer on the table from NESV, which would represent a loss of around £140m on their original investment, once the Royal Bank of Scotland, the principal creditor, has been paid.

Although they are the major shareholders, Hicks and Gillett are outnumbered on the board, which voted in favour of selling the football club. On Wednesday, Hicks and Gillett tried to reverse that decision by attempting to sack managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre.

On the face of it, the Liverpool board, chaired by Martin Broughton, is acting correctly. Kop Football (Holdings) Limited is deeply indebted to the Royal Bank of Scotland, which holds a legal charge over the shares in the football club. The bank has now demanded repayment of its facilities and has set a deadline after which it will exercise its security. That deadline offers Hicks and Gillett very little room for manoeuvre.

The board’s legal obligations are clear. It must follow whatever course of action is most likely to see Kop Football (Holdings) Limited’s creditors repaid and, once they have been dealt with, to account for any residual value to its shareholders. That the residual value of Liverpool FC amounts to a loss doesn’t alter the board’s duty.

The bank has made clear its intention to exercise its security if its facilities are not repaid by the deadline. For the football club, that would mean going into administration. Under FA rules, administration brings with it a points penalty that would threaten the club’s Premier League survival, thus putting at risk a valuable revenue stream and no doubt significant sponsor support. If relegated, the value of the club would be severely diminished.

The trick therefore is to keep the club playing and to sell it as a going concern. The way to do that is to sell the subsidiary through which the club is operated for cash and to pay off the bank, with any balance being left in Kop Football (Holdings) Limited for the shareholders. There is no question here of the company being sold off without Hicks and Gillett’s consent. What is happening is that the board are converting Kop Football (Holdings) Limited’s major asset into cash. The shareholders will get whatever is left. If that represents a loss, it merely reflects the poor performance of the company in which they chose to invest.

So will the High Court halt the board’s current plans? It seems unlikely. Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 lays down a general duty—so far untested in the courts—for each of the directors to act “in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole”.

The section goes on to lay down six further criteria: 1) The likely consequences of any decision in the long term 2) The interests of employees 3) The need to foster good relationships with suppliers and customers 4) The impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment 5) The desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct and 6) The need to act fairly as between members of the company. It’s important to note that the duties prescribed in Section 172 are owed by the directors to the company, not its shareholders.

Hicks and Gillett face at least two hurdles. First, in appropriate circumstances, the duties owed to the company under Section 172 become duties owed to creditors. Assuming administration is inevitable in the event of the company being unable to meet its obligations to RBS, it is hard to see why the interests of creditors would not prevail.

Additionally, a sale of the football club as a going concern seems more likely to safeguard the interests of its employees than a break-up. Although Hicks and Gillette could argue that the holding company itself has no employees whose interests need to be considered. In addition, loyal fans might also take the wider view that new owners would do much to enhance the football club’s prospects.

There are two further arguments to consider. It is not for the courts to make decisions that fall within the remit of company directors. So long as a director has acted reasonably, having considered all relevant factors, any decision he or she takes will be justified. It is irrelevant whether that decision proves right or wrong. What matters is that directors reach decisions for which they are willing to be accountable. This appears to be the case with the board of Kop Football (Holdings) Limited, which has taken plenty of advice and is quite willing to stand by its decision.

Earlier this year, binding undertakings not to change the composition of the board were demanded from Hicks and Gillett when RBS agreed temporarily to extend its facilities to Kop Football (Holdings) Limited, so attempts to oust Purslow and Ayre from their executive roles are unlikely to succeed. It rather looks as if the deal with the Red Sox owners is set to go through.



Bernd Ratzke is Head of Corporate at Dawsons LLP

youpi

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