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Showing posts with label takeover. Show all posts
Showing posts with label takeover. Show all posts

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Done deal

New England Sports Ventures (NESV) today announces that it has completed the purchase of Liverpool Football Club.

NESV wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the Board of Liverpool FC for their diligence and their efforts on behalf of the Club and its supporters.

The transaction values the Club at £300m and eliminates all of the acquisition debt placed on LFC by its previous owners, reducing the Club's debt servicing obligations from £25m-£30m a year to £2m-£3m.

New England Sports Ventures is committed to winning and currently owns a portfolio of companies, including the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Roush Fenway Racing.

Liverpool’s drawn-out sale to the owners of the Boston Red Sox was completed Friday after a bitter trans-Atlantic court fight over English football’s most successful club with the previous American owners.

A youth walks past Liverpool Football Club's Anfield Stadium Liverpool, England, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell) The $485 million deal (all dollar figures Canadian) with New England Sports Ventures ends the turbulent three-year ownership by Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr., which saw the Premier League giants saddled with crippling debts and falling into relegation danger this season.

   “We are committed first and foremost to winning,” said John Henry, the financier who heads NESV. “We have a history of winning, and today we want LFC supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great club.”

“As every Liverpool fan knows, the most nerve-racking way to win a match is by a penalty shootout,” - said club chairman Martin Broughton, referring to Liverpool’s fifth European Cup triumph against AC Milan in 2005.

The sale finally went through after Hicks and Gillett withdrew the temporary restraining order blocking the sale they had obtained in a Texas court. Later, they also dropped their claim for $1.6 billion in damages.

   “The most important thing is that NESV have cleared us of all the debts which, frankly, shouldn’t have been on the club in the first place.”

“All that huge amount of money that our fans spend supporting our team, coming to games and all the other activities is now available for what it should be available for, to invest.” - managing director Christian Purslow.

The deal came on the day set as the deadline for repayment of the club’s debts to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wells Fargo, which had risen to around $461 million including penalty fees.

Henry insisted that NESV’s deal wasn’t a leveraged buyout. The acquisition debt has been eliminated and the cost of servicing the club’s debt has slumped from $40 million to $48 million a year to $3.2 million to $4.8 million.

Amid the takeover turmoil, Liverpool is mired in the relegation zone after its worst start to a league season since 1953. Henry said it was too early to decide on specific plans, but noted the Red Sox are the second-highest spending club in baseball. Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson expects to have cash to spend in the January transfer window to strengthen the struggling team.

   “In future we can invest in players in a different way,” – Roy Hodgson.



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Friday, October 15, 2010

Liverpool Football Club will be sold to NESV

New England Sports Ventures’ prospects of taking control at Anfield before Sunday’s Merseyside derby rest on the verdict of a Texan judge expected to reveal whether the much-delayed deal can proceed after 1pm UK time on Friday.

Lawyers for the Reds, main creditor Royal Bank of Scotland and Boston’s NESV were gathering at 7am (1pm UK) at the 160th District Court in Dallas to seek the removal of a restraining order obtained by the current owners on Wednesday night.

If Judge Jim Jordan is persuaded to overturn the order he granted Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the agreed sale of the Reds to NESV should proceed.

After a second damning verdict in London’s High Court yesterday, lawyers for co-owner Tom Hicks immediately went back to the Dallas court last night for another hearing with Judge Jordan but it adjourned without resolution until today.

The early start in Texas today is because of the 4pm deadline (UK time) High Court judge Christopher Floyd gave the Americans to remove their restraining order in his decision against Hicks and Gillett in London yesterday.

The ruling was potentially undermined, however, by the judge’s decision to grant Hicks and Gillett until 4pm BST today to comply with the order, too late for the sale to be completed before the weekend. NESV’s counsel, David Chivers QC, told the court the sale could only be completed today if an order to transfer funds was given before 3pm.

With Hicks and Gillett not represented in court, there is little expectation that they will comply with the order, and even if they do it is predicted to be at the last minute.

Given those circumstances, the club would remain in limbo through the weekend, overshadowing a game that already has season-defining potential for both clubs.

Should the deal not go through RBS will finally face the decision that it has spent the last three days in court trying to avoid: what to do if the loans are not repaid on time.

A possible late offer from Mill Financial – who already own George Gillett’s half of the club – failed to materialise yesterday and, while it has not been completely ruled out, only a hugely-improved bid is likely to deflect the Reds board from their deal with NESV.

One complication was eased, when Peter Lim said he was withdrawing, having had a £325 million offer for the club rejected on Wednesday.

Broughton said he hoped to have a deal in place for Henry to attend Sunday’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park as Liverpool FC’s new owner.

You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tom Hicks and George Gillett obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from a Texas District Court

What on earth are the two clowns has been thinking? After the High Court ruling against them, Tom Hicks and George Gillett tried last night to derail Liverpool FC sale to the owners of the Boston Red Sox by obtaining a temporary injunction in a Dallas court.

Gillett and Hicks In a statement released by Liverpool FC official website yesterday, chairman Martin Broughton has described the temporary restraining order obtained by Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett in an attempt to stop a takeover deal as 'unwarranted and damaging' to the proceedings.

   “Regrettably, Thomas Hicks and George Gillett have tonight obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from a Texas District Court against the independent directors, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and NESV to prevent the transaction being completed.”

“The independent directors consider the restraining order to be unwarranted and damaging and will move as swiftly as possible to seek to have it removed.”

“A further statement will be made in due course.”

Mr Justice Floyd had earlier upheld the claim by RBS for breach of contract against Hicks and Gillett after they attempted to block the sale last week by dissolving the board, contravening an agreement signed as a condition of refinancing last April that also led to the appointment of Broughton. The QC representing Hicks and Gillett had said in court that the pair accepted their time as owners of Liverpool had come to an end but that they believed the club was worth more than it was being sold for.

Ruling that their actions in seeking to block the deal represented "the clearest possible breach" of a corporate governance agreement signed with RBS in April as a condition of refinancing, Mr Justice Floyd ordered Hicks and Gillett to allow the club's board to be reconstituted in its original form by 8pm last night.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

VIDEO: Full interview with Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton

Liverpool Football Club today announces that the Board has agreed the sale of the Club to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).

New England Sports Ventures currently owns a portfolio of companies including the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Roush Fenway Racing.

Martin Broughton, Liverpool FC Chairman, said:

"I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive. The Board decided to accept NESV's proposal on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a suitable new owner. NESV's philosophy is all about winning and they have fully demonstrated that at Red Sox.

"We've met them in Boston, London and Liverpool over several weeks and I am immensely impressed with what they have achieved and with their vision for Liverpool Football Club.

"By removing the burden of acquisition debt, this offer allows us to focus on investment in the team. I am only disappointed that the owners have tried everything to prevent the deal from happening and that we need to go through legal proceedings in order to complete the sale."

Note to editors:

The sale is conditional on Premier League approval, resolution of the dispute concerning Board membership and other matters.

Liverpool FC Chairman Martin Broughton has spoken about why he believes New England Sports Ventures are the perfect fit for LFC and why he's confident the sale decision could be completed by close of business next week.



Source: Liverpool FC Official Website

More interview video from BBC Sport.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mystery investor to buyout Liverpool Football Club

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.

Fresh news from the press has indicated that an overseas buyer is considering making an offer of between £400million and £500million for Liverpool. According to Keith Harris, a renowned deal-broker and 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.

''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 £237million has to be repaid.

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

A spokesman for the Liverpool board's sales process declined to comment on any specifics but did say: "We can only reiterate what we said about ten days ago that the board are evaluating a number of bids."

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

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

Onlookers wonder whether a deal is feasible that will meet the asking price of Tom Hicks and George Gillett so that new owners can revitalise Anfield. While Liverpool, in that regard, are in a state of suspended animation, the challenge of the Premier League is constant.

With the transfer windows closing in a week time, any possible recruitment for Liverpool seems impossible to materialised unless the successful sales of Mascherano is given to Hodgson.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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