Singapore-based consortium move closer to Rangers takeover
Tuesday 17 April 2012
The saga surrounding the takeover of Rangers appeared to move one step closer to conclusion last night when the Blue Knights announced they were taking a step back from the process, leaving a Singapore-based consortium led by Bill Ng set to be named as the preferred bidder today.
The Blue Knights consortium, spearheaded by former Rangers director Paul Murray, were offered the chance to enter into exclusive talks with administrators Duff and Phelps over concluding a deal.
But, during a delay in attempting to raise a £500,000 fee to do so, their financial backers Ticketus, the investment firm whose money financed Craig Whyte's takeover of the club last May, with funding set against revenue from future season ticket sales at Ibrox, agreed a deal with the Singapore group that the Blue Knights claim they cannot match.
In an effort to prevent the Govan club from being liquidated due to further delay, Murray's group have moved aside in the hope that Ng can conclude a deal quickly, although they could re-enter the fray if no agreement is reached.
In a statement issued to BBC Scotland, the Blue Knights said they were taking "a step back to enable Duff and Phelps, Ticketus and the Singaporeans to conclude a deal as quickly as possible or not.
"We stand ready to complete our offer of April 4 which included a deal in principle with Ticketus.
"We still believe that a partnership with Ticketus represents the best opportunity of the club exiting administration via a CVA (company voluntary agreement).
"We firmly believe that, in the best interests of the club, the whole process has to move forward as a matter of urgency.
"We are stepping back to assist with this but we stand ready to re-enter the process if a deal can not be reached."
USA businessman Bill Miller heads the third party interested in taking over Rangers but they look to be out of the picture.
Whyte, who remains central to the sale of the Ibrox club, told Press Association Sport yesterday: "I have not spoken to Bill Miller and I have no plans to speak to him. He has not made contact with me.
"I am happy to have a conversation with them or anyone who is interested but it is my understanding, through third parties, that they (Miller's consortium) want liquidation and that is no good for the club."
Duff and Phelps responded to the Blue Knight's statement, saying: "We were surprised that their (Blue Knights) offer to pay an exclusivity fee was withdrawn and although discussions over the exclusivity fee continued over the weekend, no agreement was reached.
"At all stages of the process, the Blue Knights/Ticketus bid has been given the most serious consideration by us as administrators, particularly due to the fact that it was being encouraged by supporters' groups.
"We are aware that Ticketus has also been, at their own instigation, in parallel discussion with one of the other bidders over the last few weeks and it remains to be seen whether these discussions will be taken forward."
Miller said he had no plans to hold talks with Whyte.
In a statement issued to several newspapers, he said: "Mr. Whyte is correct about at least one thing.
"I have not spoken with him and I see no reason to do so.
"According to Andy Warhol, everyone gets 15 minutes of fame.
"Hasn't Mr. Whyte already had his?"
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