Football

Mukesh Ambani bidding for Liverpool takeover deal

Business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and Sahara Group chairman Subrata Roy have reportedly set their sights on buying debt-ravaged Liverpool FC from their American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Junior.

According to The Times, approaches for buying of ownership stakes in the club began as early as November and some preliminary talks have taken place.

Both Ambani and Roy have reportedly indicated that they are ready to pay off Liverpool’s 237 million pound debt in return for a 51 per cent stake in the club. However, Christian Purslow, the Liverpool chief executive, denied any knowledge of either bid.

Each deal requires that the present owners make a commitment to take no dividends or expenses out of Anfield for three years to allow the club to resume a secure financial basis. One of the potential owners has also indicated a willingness to allow supporters to take a 10 per cent stake in Liverpool.

A source close to Hicks and Gillett said that the duo would reject on principle any bid that left them with less than 50 per cent of the club’s shares unless it involved either of them selling out entirely.

A sale of more than half of the total stake would mean they would lose control of the club. It is understood that Liverpool’s banker, the state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, is pressing Hicks and Gillett to cut their asking price.

The bank declined to comment, but a source close to RBS said that there has been plenty of interest in Liverpool from investors.

However, the source added, the owners are blocking all deals on the table because they refuse to budge on price. Roy, whose interest appears more serious, has been linked with ownership of one of the next IPL franchises, possibly to be based in Lucknow, where the Sahara Group, of which he is chairman, is based.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 4:44:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/Mukesh-Ambani-bidding-for-Liverpool-takeover-deal/article16813426.ece

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