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Aug 2, 2010

Huang seeks Liverpool takeover

Widespread reports in the English press suggest Chinese billionaire Kenny Huang is in negotiations to take charge of Liverpool.

Cole delighted after debut

The Press Association reports that Huang, the chief executive of Chinese sports investment company QSL, has lodged a bid to the Royal Bank of Scotland to buy the club's £237 million debt. That would not amount to a takeover but would give him "a ridiculously large amount of leverage" to force out the current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

"He wants to get it done quickly so investment can come this summer," a source told the Press Association. "Liverpool need investment in the playing squad and infrastructure and Huang wants to build the stadium. The club has an outstanding reputation but does not have the infrastructure to keep with it and make it grow.

"By going to RBS, you can leverage a large amount of pressure that no-one else can on the owners. It is a deal which has no interest in shareholders, meaning there will be no profit for Hicks and Gillett."

Hicks and Gillett put Liverpool up for sale in April but there has so far been little prospect of a deal being completed. A New York-based equity firm earlier made an attempt to purchase a 40% stake, but the bid was dismissed by the duo.

Hicks and Gillett purchased Liverpool for a reported £219 million in 2007 and, speaking in April, Hicks said: "Liverpool will be the most profitable investment I have ever made. I should make four times my money."

The Daily Telegraph claims that, as a result of Huang's valuation, Gillett has told the RBS he is in advanced negotiations with Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi to delay Huang's efforts.

The Independent says Fernando Torres "was briefed on the approach some time ago and will be encouraged, on his return to Melwood, to await the outcome of discussions between the tycoon and Royal Bank of Scotland". Torres is keen to see further investment at Anfield.

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