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Everton takeover rumoured as Liverpool refinancing drags on

22 July 2009 | Posted in Notes & Insights | By Michael Long | Contact the author

Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the owners of English Premier League club Liverpool, are unlikely to agree refinancing terms with RBS before this Friday’s deadline.

The two American businessmen have made regular appearances on sports pages on both sides of the Atlantic in recent weeks. Gillett has agreed to sell the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey franchise for more than US$500 million. Hicks, meanwhile, has dissolved Hicks Sports Marketing Group as he looks to sell off one of his sport franchises.

The Liverpool refinancing deal, though, continues to drag on. ‘The two parties have been in talks for several months and both sides have expressed confidence that a deal will be done. It may not be concluded by the end of this week however, despite that being the date for the loan’s expiry given in the most recent accounts for the club’s holding company,‘ reports the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Meanwhile, English Premier League club Everton have denied reports that they are in negotiations with a United Arab Emirates business consortium regarding the takeover of the club.

Chris Nathaniel, the managing director of NVA Management, claimed yesterday that he had met with the club to discuss the takeover. “I can confirm I am acting on behalf of a UAE-based business consortium, who are chaired by a prominent Dubai businessman, and that I am currently in discussions with a number of Premier League clubs, one of which is Everton Football Club,“ he said.

The story would not be surprising, given that Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has made no secret of his willingness to stand aside if a suitable buyer for the club can be found.

If those meetings have happened, though, they have been in recent days. “At a shareholders’ meeting last week Bill Kenwright said regarding takeovers there’s nothing on the table and there’s nothing imminent,“ said Everton spokesman Ian Ross today.

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