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Craig Whyte to transfer shares

Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have announced that Craig Whyte has confirmed he will transfer his majority shareholding to two parties involved in takeover talks.

Duff and Phelps are evaluating three bids after American tycoon Bill Miller withdrew his offer earlier this week, just days after being named preferred bidder, and remain optimistic of a speedy sale.

Joint administrator Paul Clark said: ''We have continued discussions today with the parties remaining in the bidding process and good progress has been made.

''We can also confirm that Craig Whyte has confirmed that he will transfer his shareholding in Rangers Football Club to two of the parties and has indicated he would not be an impediment to a sale of the club.

''We will issue a further update for supporters tomorrow and can say that every effort is being made to conclude the sale of the club as quickly as possible.''

Press Association Sport understands one of the groups to have agreed a deal to take over Whyte's 85% shareholding is an English-based consortium.

The consortium held talks with Duff and Phelps this afternoon and Whyte is hoping the group can strike a deal to take over the Ibrox club by tomorrow ahead of attempts to exit administration through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The new group contains figures who have been in involved at chief executive and chairman level at English Premier League and Championship clubs in the past and Whyte believes they are the only serious bidders.

Rumours that Peter Kenyon was involved in the consortium which aims to take over Whyte's shares were denied by the former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive. He said: ''People use my name a lot but it is news to me. I've not had any discussions.''

Previous bidder Bill Ng, a Singapore businessman, resurrected his interest while reports also claimed former Ibrox bosses Walter Smith and Graeme Souness had links to other consortiums, although the latter has since refuted that claim.

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy has told administrators they made a mistake when they opted to name Miller as preferred bidder ahead of a rival bid from himself and the Blue Knights.

Kennedy, who remains involved in the bidding process, told BBC Scotland: ''The administrators chose the wrong horse when they went with Bill Miller. I wouldn't like to see them make the same mistake again.''

Miller's £11.2 million offer favoured a 'newco' scenario but Kennedy stressed again he would only consider a deal that involved exiting administration via a CVA.

He said: ''Financially, a newco doesn't work unless you can write a cheque for £35 million to compensate for the absence of European football. We would only contemplate a CVA.''

Kennedy has held talks with Whyte over his shares but was reluctant to divulge details of those discussions. He said: ''I won't comment on Craig Whyte's shares. I have a confidentiality agreement with Craig and I intend to respect that.''

Administrators are hoping to complete a sale by the end of the season, which ends this Sunday when Ally McCoist's side take on St Johnstone in Perth.


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