Vail’s Gillett looking for investment in soccer team
MANCHESTER, England – Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. confirmed Tuesday they are looking for outside investment.
“The owners have jointly retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Rothschild to evaluate the possibility of new investors injecting equity into LFC,” Hicks and Gillett said in a statement. “However, the process is at an early stage, there is no agreement with any party.”
Sports investment firm F6, which is chaired by a Saudi prince, had claimed that it had signed an exclusivity deal with Gillett to begin the process of examining Liverpool’s accounts. Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud said he was in talks to buy into Gillett’s 50 percent stake.
Neither Gillett nor Hicks can sell any of their equal stakes without the other’s approval – a clause that inflamed tensions between the pair when Gillett’s attempts to sell to a Dubai consortium were blocked by Hicks in early 2008.
Hicks is looking to raise $159 million from investors in return for a 25 percent stake in the 18-time English champions.
Hicks, who owns the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, is trying to reduce the club’s $390 million debt and secure the finances to build a new 60,000-seat stadium. Construction was halted in August 2008 because of global economic downturn.
Gillett recently sold the Montreal Canadiens, the Gillett Entertainment Centre and the Bell Centre back to the Molson family for a reported $580 million.
Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool in 2007 for nearly $287 million, taking on about $73.8 million in liabilities. They have been criticized by fans for burdening the club with so much debt.