Rangers re­view op­er­a­tions over court shares or­der to chair­man King


A WIDE-RANG­ING re­view of op­er­a­tions at Rangers FC has been launched af­ter chair­man Dave King was forced to bid £11 mil­lion for a swathe of the club’s shares.

The Ibrox chief had been try­ing to stave off pres­sure to buy 70 per cent of the club’s shares, fear­ing the heavy fi­nan­cial toll it would place on the South African busi­ness­man.

He had been or­dered by the Court of Ses­sion to make an of­fer to buy mil­lions of shares af­ter break­ing strict Takeover Panel rules when he took con­trol at Ibrox in 2014.

He had gone to court last month in a bid to over­turn the rul­ing but his ap­peal was thrown out.

Un­der the takeovers and merg­ers code, Mr King should make a cash of­fer to all other share­hold­ers.

In a state­ment from Mr King’s South African-based Laird In­vest­ments (Pro­pri­etary) Lim­ited, he of­fers to work “col­lab­o­ra­tively” with the man­age­ment and board of Rangers In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball Club (RIFC) plc to “re­view strate­gic op­tions” in­clud­ing “li­cens­ing agree­ments, fund­ing re­quire­ments and the man­age­ment and board com­po­si­tion”.

The cur­rent Rangers In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball Club plc share price with JP Jenk­ins, which op­er­ates the plat­form in which Rangers eq­uity is traded, is 7.5p higher than the 20p Mr King will have to pay now for an in­di­vid­ual share. It means share­hold­ers, in the­ory, would get more money for their shares by sim­ply us­ing the trad­ing plat­form, but only if there is a buyer.

A spokesman for Sandy Eas­dale, the club’s fourth big­gest sin­gle share­holder, said he was “highly likely” to take up Mr King’s of­fer.

Mr King’s firm said: “Laird does not con­sider that its strate­gic plans for RIFC will have reper­cus­sions on the con­tin­ued em­ploy­ment of the em­ploy­ees of RIFC or its sub­sidiary com­pa­nies... or on the lo­ca­tion of RIFC...”

Laird said it was com­mit­ted to work “as quickly as pos­si­ble to­wards any change to the strat­egy, man­age­ment struc­ture or tan­gi­ble/ in­tan­gi­ble as­set util­i­sa­tion if it be­comes ap­par­ent changes are nec­es­sary”.

The of­fer says the bid would be funded us­ing the re­ceipt of div­i­dends to be de­clared on April 4 amount­ing to £13 mil­lion.

The Three Bears had al­ways de­nied that they had acted “in con­cert” to pur­chase shares in Rangers when a board said to be al­lied to Sports Di­rect founder Mike Ash­ley was in place.

Sandy Eas­dale is highly likely to take up the of­fer

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