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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 12 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 27, 2007

Investors complete takeover of Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, England -- American investors Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. finalized their takeover of Britain's famed Liverpool soccer club on Tuesday.

The pair's takeover vehicle, Kop Football, told the London Stock Exchange it has reached agreement to buy 98.6 percent of the club's shares. Under stock market rules, the remaining shares can now be compulsorily purchased, meaning the process is now complete.

Hicks and Gillett will now seek to take Liverpool off the exchange and register the club as a private company.

The takeover clears the way for the club to move from 45,000-capacity Anfield to a new 60,000-seat stadium in nearby Stanley Park.

Liverpool's board agreed to the takeover on Feb. 6 after rejecting a rival bid from Dubai International Capital.

Earlier this month, Hicks and Gillett gained unconditional control of the club by passing the 80 percent threshold of shares.

Hicks is a Dallas businessman who owns the NHL's Dallas Stars and Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers. Gillett is a Vail, Colo., businessman who owns the NHL's Montreal Canadiens.

Liverpool is the third English Premier League club under American ownership.

Malcolm Glazer, who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, controls Manchester United, and Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner took over Aston Villa this season.