21 January 2008

Liverpool takeover: all you need to know

by David Bond (Daily Telegraph)

Why are Liverpool in so much trouble?
A £350 million refinancing plan by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett has stalled, opening the door for a renewed bid from Dubai International Capital (DIC).

How are relations between the Americans?
Said to have broken down - especially after Hicks went public on the fact they had courted Jurgen Klinsmann.

Who are DIC?
They are the investment arm of Dubai's fabulously wealthy ruling al-Maktoum family.

Why didn't DIC buy the club last year?
At the same time as DIC were stalling over a £450 million deal, Hicks emerged as a wealthy backer for Gillett. A leaked City document detailing plans by DIC to sell the club seven years after taking it over also shook club shareholders.

Will Tom Hicks now sell?
He repeatedly insists that he and Gillett are long-term owners. But DIC have approached him in the last few days about selling. And even if he gets the refinancing deal through, it is thought he will still be open to offers.

How long would a takeover take?
It all depends on whether Hicks and Gillett secure the refinancing. If that deal collapses or they pull out then it could be tied up within weeks. If it goes through, DIC might have to wait months.

How much are DIC prepared to pay?
A total price of around £350 million, including Liverpool's debt.

How much profit do Hicks and Gillett stand to make?
Around £40 million each, although a deal after the refinancing could reduce that.

What would a DIC takeover mean for Liverpool and manager Rafa Benitez?
DIC have access to far greater resources than the Americans and while they insist that the club will be run on commercial lines, they are committed to investing in players and a new stadium. But whatever happens, Benitez, is unlikely to be the manager they choose to oversee the revolution.

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