Late bids expected for Rangers

Published Tuesday, 03 April 2012
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Up to five bids for Rangers Football Club could be made before Wednesday's deadline for final offers, its administrators say.

Late bids expected for Rangers
The deadline for offers is Wednesday. (© Getty)

It is believed Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy may be weighing up an offer, although he has denied having already lodging one.

Speaking to the troubled Old Firm club's website, joint-administrator David Whitehouse said: "It could be we end up with at least four, possibly five bids being submitted."

Further offers are expected to come from the Blue Knights consortium led by ex-Rangers director Paul Murray, US-based investment form Club 9 Sports and another, Singapore-based group.

Whitehouse said he does not expect Craig Whyte to prove an obstacle as negotiations are carried out; however the majority shareholder's intentions remain unclear.

Mr Whitehouse told "We have been in detailed conversation with a number of parties over the last couple of weeks and the best and final bids are due to be submitted by tomorrow at 5pm.

"If it becomes clear after tomorrow's bids then we would want to be backing one horse very soon after Easter and then concluding a deal within a few weeks - in other words ownership change - and Rangers would come out of administration at that point.

"We need to have ownership change before the end of the season. I am told that Craig Whyte will not be an impediment to any deal."

Mr Whyte this week insisted he would co-operate with potential bidders including the Blue Knights, despite his stated scepticism over Murray's involvement.

He said: "I have £30m in cash and guarantees on the line but I would walk away if it is best for Rangers."

Paul Murray has claimed he had struck a deal with Ticketus, who provided some £30m of capital to Rangers during Whyte's reign, as part of his bid but there has been no final confirmation.

The Blue Knights hope to avoid liquidation, which would see any new club formed hit with a three-year ban from European football and open to further domestic sanctions, even if they keep SPL status.

But Whitehouse has warned that any offer that relies on a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) must serve creditors better than a bid which leads to liquidation.

He said: "Whilst we are mindful of the advantages of a CVA and that is our preferred outcome, there is economic consideration to be taken into account as well in that creditors will require the best return.

"Therefore those purchasers who are keen to promote and deliver a CVA exit must also recognise the need for their proposals to be commercially competitive.

"It's about what level of percentage will be available to creditors at the end of the day.

"We are very mindful of the views of the supporters in terms of a CVA but in the absence of a CVA an asset sale would not result in the closure of the club. It would involve the football club continuing through a new limited company.

"Supporters shouldn't lose sight that a well-capitalised club moving forward is a legitimate long-term proposal for someone to put forward.

"The downside to an asset sale could be SFA and SPL sanctions which are undetermined."

Administrators are expected to publish their initial report on the Rangers website on Wednesday with creditors given an opportunity to vote on that by 20 April.

Joint-administrator Paul Clark said: "For clarification this is not a creditors' meeting at which a Company Voluntary Arrangement will be proposed, nor will any other form of exit from administration be determined at this juncture.

"Such matters will be formally considered once the sale process has reached a conclusion."

© UTV News
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