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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec, 5, 2006

Liverpool chief Parry hails Dubai bidders

The hugely-wealthy Dubai firm behind a £450million takeover bid for Liverpool have been hailed as 'ideal partners' by club chief executive Rick Parry.

The club have given exclusive rights to Dubai International Capital (DIC) - a firm owned by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai - to launch a takeover bid.

Parry claimed the takeover holds the key to the club's new stadium and being able to compete with the richest clubs in the world.

He said: 'DIC is a potential investor with the resources and philosophy that we believe could make them an ideal partner.

'Already they have demonstrated a full understanding of, and respect for, the club's heritage and values.

'We also believe they share our passion for success. In particular, DIC believes in investing in the businesses it acquires. This is very important in terms of the proposed new stadium, which is key to plans for the regeneration of the local community.

'On the pitch, Liverpool remains focused on winning and, here again, this is all about doing a deal that gives us the long-term resources to do that.'

DIC have been given permission to conduct due diligence - to have their lawyers and accountants examine the club's accounts in detail - and are expected to submit a formal offer soon after Christmas.

The offer is expected to be for a total of £450million - £170million for a controlling stake in the club, £80million to cover existing debts and £200million to go towards a new stadium in Stanley Park.

The takeover would see Liverpool become the sixth Premiership club in foreign hands.

DIC's chief executive Sameer Al Ansari is a Liverpool fan who has been to matches on a number of occasions.

He could possibly replace David Moores as club chairman, though it is thought Parry would remain as chief executive and Moores retain a senior position within the club.

Al Ansari said in a statement: 'DIC has a strong track record as a very serious investor with considerable resources at its disposal. At the same time, we are supporters - of the game and of the club.

'Liverpool's investment requirements have been well publicised and we hope we can agree a deal that will provide the club with the funds it needs, both on and off the pitch.'

DIC are one of half a dozen private equity firms buying up investments around the world on behalf of Dubai Holdings, which is owned by Sheikh Maktoum, who is also vice-president of the United Arab Emirates.

DIC recently bought Madame Tussauds for £750million and the Travelodge hotel chain.

The new stadium and injection of cash would see Liverpool able to compete with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, who this season moved to the new 60,000-capacity Emirates stadium - Anfield's capacity is only 44,000.

Liverpool would now have the finances to move to a new 60,000-capacity stadium in Stanley Park.

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