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Mar 8, 2010

Rangers confirm takeover talks with Andrew Ellis

Rangers have reportedly confirmed that principal shareholder Murray International Holdings has begun discussions with London-based property developer Andrew Ellis about a takeover of the Glasgow club.

Rangers have reportedly seen their debts rise as high as £31 million recently, with former chairman Sir David Murray claiming that he is "considering options" over the potential sale.

The club now say discussions with ''interested parties'' are at an early stage and an independent committee of the board - which includes Ibrox legend John Greig - has been set up to consider any offers.

Murray stepped aside as Rangers chairman last August, but still controls around 90% of the shares in the Scottish champions and former QPR director Ellis has emerged as the favourite bidder.

Another bid for Rangers is reported to be on the table, from an Asian consortium, while South African investor Dave King has also been credited with an interest in taking over the club.

A statement on Rangers' website read: ''Following press speculation over the weekend, the board of Rangers Football Club plc confirms that it has been advised by Murray International Holdings Limited that MIH has entered into discussions with certain interested parties, including Andrew Ellis, about the interests of MIH in RFC that may lead to an offer or offers for the entire issued share capital of the club.

''The board of RFC understands that discussions are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the issued shares of RFC. RFC has been in an offer period since its announcement of October 26, 2009.

''In order to ensure the complete independence of the assessment of the merits for RFC of any possible offer, the board of RFC has set up an independent committee of the board comprising the chairman Alastair Johnston, John McClelland, Martin Bain, Donald McIntyre and John Greig to consider the full implications of any future offer for RFC.

''The independent directors will ensure that any possible offer for RFC is assessed on the merits for RFC, its shareholders and all other stakeholders in RFC including supporters.

''It is particularly important to the independent directors that any possible offeror is able to demonstrate the capacity and commitment to provide a stable and sustainable future for RFC and the independent directors will want to understand fully the plans of any potential offeror in order to recommend the action that shareholders should take.

''The Independent Directors exclude Mike McGill and Donald Muir who are connected to MIH, and so have a potential conflict of interest, and Dave King and Paul Murray about whose intentions there has been past speculation that could lead to a perception of a possible conflict of interest. The board will keep all shareholders informed of further developments.''

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