Dubai says talks 'advanced' on Liverpool bid
Dubai, March 10, 2008
Dubai International Capital, an investment agency owned by the ruler of Dubai, said on Monday talks with the owners of Liverpool Football Club had moved on to an "advanced" stage.
DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari said last week talks with Tom Hicks and George Gillett were stuck because one of the owners "was in dreamland" about valuations.
"Dubai International Capital confirms that it is in advanced discussions with the co-owners of LFC but that no agreement has been reached on price or shareholding percentage," DIC said in a statement on Monday.
The battle for control of Liverpool could be heading for resolution as the DIC is prepared to accept a 49 percent stake in the English Premier League club, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.
The Daily Telegraph said the DIC, which has made a 400 million pound ($807.6 million) takeover offer for the Merseyside club, would consider sharing ownership with American co-owner Hicks.
The newspaper said Hicks, who bought Liverpool for 219 million pounds with compatriot Gillett a year ago, made the partnership proposal nine days ago in a 60-page shareholder agreement e-mailed to DIC's lead negotiator Amanda Staveley.
Staveley, a senior partner at DIC's advisers, private equity firm PCP Capital Partners, was quoted as saying on Friday: "Subject to renegotiation of a partnership agreement and subject to the usual stringent minority shareholder protection rights we would be prepared to accept a 49 percent shareholding in Liverpool FC.
"We have decided that this arrangement provides the best possible solution to the situation and would be in the best interests of the club and their loyal fans."
US billionaires Hicks, who also owns the Texas Rangers baseball team, and Gillett outbid DIC when they bought the club last year, but fell out with each other this season. - Reuters