Word Out of England: Bank Extends Liverpool Loan If Hicks Looks for Buyer
At 9 this morning, I asked Tom Hicks's local spokesperson Lisa LeMaster to comment on reports out of England that he's finally ready to sell Liverpool FC. No word yet -- perhaps because The Official Word's not expected till later this week. So, instead, looks like we'll have to go with U.K. sources-said. As in: The Times has learned that Royal Bank of Scotland, to whom Hicks and co-owner George Gillett owe £237 million (along with Wachovia in the U.S.) no later than July, has agreed to give the twosome more time to pay down their note.
But there's a catch, according to the paper's sources: "RBS has indicated that it will grant a six-month extension of the loan provided that the American owners can convince the bank's board by July that they genuinely intend to sell." Geniunely being the operative word, following Hicks's decision to pass on Rhone Group's £100-million offer last week. And don't forget: Two years ago, Hicks also nixed Dubai International Capital's $800 million offer. Those were the days.
The U.K. papers are saying this time around, Hicks and Gillett do intend -- kinda got no choice at this point. From The Guardian: "The pair have hired the mergers and acquisitions arm of Barclays Bank to help find a buyer and are expected to announce the appointment of Martin Broughton, the chairman of British Airways, as independent chairman early this week." Which, if true, might explain what Hicks and Gillett were doing in England last week, when the twosome were said to have been meeting with attorneys about a sale. The Spirit of Shankly will believe it when it sees it.
Meanwhile, Chuck Greenberg's still waiting for Major League Baseball to get those danged creditors to sign off on the Texas Rangers sale. And three interested parties are lined up to crack open the Dallas Stars' books.
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