Liverpool to reject £110m offer from New York investors

Liverpool appear ready to reject a bid for control of the club from New York-based fund management company Rhône Group, which would enable them to pay off £100m of debt demanded by Royal Bank of Scotland. Rhône's deadline for Liverpool to take or leave their £110m offer – tabled on 13 March – expires tomorrow. With seemingly no willingness on the part of the company's partners, Robert Agostinelli and Steven Langman, to offer an extension, Liverpool must look elsewhere for funds.

The Independent on Sunday understands that the sticking point in talks with Rhône relates to their demands for control of the club rather than the valuation of the 40 per cent share they would take. Rhône are understood to have wanted concrete assurances written into any deal that Liverpool's co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, would not be able to combine their 30 per cent shares to maintain overall control. A 100 per cent takeover from Hicks and Gillett would seem to solve that issue, which always seemed a sticking point. Though Rhône's departure leaves Liverpool with no firm offers as the club reaches the Easter deadline, which managing director Christian Purslow had identified for finding a new equity partner, there are suggestions that the interest of two prospective investors may be turned into firm bids.

Liverpool, who need a win at Birmingham today to maintain their hopes of taking the fourth Champions' League position, continue with Hicks and Gillett. The unpopular Americans have been told by RBS that they must reduce their £237m debt burden by £100m by July if they are to be granted a deal to refinance their loans over a longer period and given access to funds to begin work on any new Stanley Park stadium.

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