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Horncastle: Totti thriving at 40

Italian Serie A
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By ESPN Staff

Whyte edges closer to Gers takeover

Scottish tycoon Craig Whyte appeared to move closer to a takeover of Rangers on Wednesday after an agreement over the club's debt was reached with Lloyds Banking Group.

The path seems to be clear for the protracted deal, reportedly worth £33 million, to finally go ahead following months of negotiations.

Whyte will take over 75% of Sir David Murray's shareholding, with London-based property developer Andrew Ellis becoming a 25% partner, once the buy-out is rubber-stamped by the current owner.

A source close to the deal told the Press Association: "An agreement has been reached between Lloyds Banking Group and Craig Whyte. The debt is no longer an obstacle or an issue."

Rangers' debt stood at £27.1 million in June and is expected to be slashed to around £21 million when the club's interim results are announced.

The takeover appeared to be hanging in balance earlier in the week after reports suggested the bank's demands for an 'exit payment' of more than £1 million was a stumbling block.

However, Lloyds responded by denying the existence of any exit or redemption fee.

It would appear progress has now been made, although a degree of caution still surrounds the deal at the moment.

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