Monday, October 11, 2010

Singapore Billionaire Offers Shocking Mega Bid For Liverpool

The bidding contest for Liverpool FC may not
be over, the BBC can reveal.
The runner-up in the contest, Peter Lim, a
Singapore billionaire, is to approach
Liverpool's board with a view to making a
higher offer for the club.
According to sources close to Mr Lim, he was
the club's preferred bidder in the closing
stages of the auction.
He had talks with Liverpool's chairman about
how to announce his takeover, such was the
apparent confidence that he would win the
'No loans'
Mr Lim learned he was not the victor only a
few hours before the club's chairman, Martin
Broughton, announced on 6 October that
Liverpool would be sold to John Henry's New
England Sport Ventures for £300m.
Mr Lim, who is being advised by the British
firm of lawyers Macfarlanes and by the Wong
Partnership of Singapore, still does not know
why Mr Broughton went with New England
Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red
He believes that in purely monetary terms, his
offer was at least as attractive as Mr Henry's.
Mr Lim, too, was offering to repay all of Royal
Bank of Scotland's and Wachovia's £200m of
long-term debt, to take on £60m of other debt
and to inject £40m of working capital.
What's more - and Mr Lim regards this as
crucial - all the money being provided by him
would come from his own cash resources. He
is not planning to borrow any of it.
I understand he is also offering to provide
tens of millions of pounds to Liverpool's
manager, Roy Hodgson, to allow him to buy
players when the transfer window opens in
According to executives close to Mr Lim, he
was told by Mr Broughton that his ability to
fund the takeover for cash, and the size of his
cash resources, meant he was a more
attractive owner than New England Sports
Mr Lim was told that Liverpool's board was
concerned that New England Sports Ventures
would have to borrow to finance the takeover
- raising questions about whether Liverpool
really would break free from the financial
shackles perceived to have been imposed by
the current owners, George Gillett and Tom
In the event, New England Sports Ventures
have insisted it will not load up Liverpool FC
with debt.
But there are no guarantees that there will not
be significant debt further up the corporate
ownership structure of New England Sports
Ventures - which could limit how much money
Mr Henry and his colleagues can inject into
Liverpool in the future.
Mr Lim is keeping a close eye on the court
case, which starts on Tuesday.
The case is supposed to rule on whether Mr
Broughton can sell Liverpool to New England
Sports Ventures against the wishes of Mr Hicks
and Mr Gillett.
The Singapore billionaire believes the
judgement in that case may give him an
opportunity to bid again, whatever Mr
Broughton may wish.
Business empire
Mr Lim is also prepared to buy Liverpool,
should it ultimately collapse into
administration under UK insolvency
According to sources close to him, he feels
that he may have been shut out because New
England made an offer to Royal Bank of
Scotland to pay some of the £40m penalty fees
the banks have demanded.
If that is the case, he believes Royal Bank may
have done a poor deal, because he would be
prepared to pay RBS and Wachovia more than
the £10m or so which New England Sports
Ventures is said to have put on the table.
"He never had a chance to negotiate directly
with Royal Bank [of Scotland]," said a source.
"He was expecting to do so, after agreeing the
takeover with the board."
Mr Lim has an estimated net worth of $1.6bn
(£1bn), according to Forbes Magazine.
He made his fortune in fashion, logistics and
His interest in English football stems from his
ownership of several Manchester United
themed bars in Asia - which have persuaded
him that there is huge global potential for
making money from top-flight English football.
Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland announced
on Monday afternoon that it had obtained an
injuction to prevent Liverpool owners Tom
Hicks and George Gillett from sacking Martin
Broughton or any other of the club's board
members ahead of Tuesday's court case.

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