US duo secure Liverpool takeover

24 Apr 2008

By: Sport Industry Group

US billionaire sport entrepreneurs George Gillett and Tom Hicks have finalised their proposed £174m takeover bid for Liverpool including the purchase of the 9.99% stake in the club owned by commercial broadcaster ITV.

Gillett and Hicks, who own NHL ice hockey teams the Montreal Canadiens and the Dallas Stars respectively, beat off competition from Dubai International Capital to buy Liverpool.

The offer is worth £5,000 per share, valuing the club at £174.1m, which when comprised with the club's £44.8m debt, increases the cash on the table to £218.9m.

In addition, the US duo are believed to have guaranteed more than £200m towards the cost of building a new stadium – an up front investment that the DIC consortium was reportedly not prepared to make.

The offer includes the purchase of ITV’s shareholding which will see the broadcaster lose almost £5m on its stake in the club. ITV bought the shares at a cost of £22m with the buyout offer per share bringing in £17.4m for the broadcaster.

Liverpool chairman David Moores stated: ‘This club is my passion and forms a huge part of my life. After much careful consideration, I have agreed to sell my shares to assist in securing the investment needed for the new stadium and for the playing squad.

"I urge all my fellow shareholders to do the same and to support the offer. By doing so, I believe you will be backing the successful future of Liverpool." 

Liverpool becomes the third FA Premier League club to be taken over by US businessmen following in the footsteps of Manchester United and Aston Villa.