(WFI) Liverpool’s protracted £300million takeover has been completed by the New England Sports Ventures (NESV) group after the club’s previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett withdrew their legal objections to the case.
Hicks and Gillett tried to block the sale in the British High Court this week, which they claimed was conducted by Liverpool’s directors without their consent.
The deal means that the Royal Bank of Scotland will not foreclose on the club following the expiration of a loan to the previous owners this afternoon. There had been fears that the club would be subject to a 9 points EPL deduction if they fell into financial administration.
NESV have promised that the deal was conducted without leveraged finance and cuts by 90% the club’s annual debt repayments to between £2-3million.
“On behalf of the entire NESV partnership, I want to express how incredibly proud and humbled we are to be confirmed as the new owners of Liverpool FC,” said NESV chief John Henry in a statement.
“We regard our role as that of stewards for the club with a primary focus on returning the club to greatness on and off the field for the long-term.
“We are committed first and foremost to winning. We have a history of winning, and today we want LFC supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great club.”
Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton said that the bid was accepted because it “best met their criteria.”
“I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive.
“The board decided to accept NESV’s offer on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a new owner. NESV is buying Liverpool in order to put it on an excellent financial footing and continue to develop it internationally.
“This is a good deal which comprehensively resolves the pressing issue of the club’s debt and should give staff, players and fans great confidence regarding the future of Liverpool FC.”
Hicks and Gillett this afternoon attempted to block the sale in a Texan court, launching a $1.6billion damages lawsuit. This was subsequently withdrawn to “comply with English law.”
However, their lawyer Tom Melsheimer suggested that the fight was not over, saying that “a different picture will be painted when the English court has a chance to hear all the facts.”
From INSIDER’s James Corbett.
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