Doubts cast on possible Liverpool FC takeover by Indian tycoons

10 February 2010 06:40
Mukesh Ambani and Subrata Roy Sahara [LNB]LIVERPOOL FC'S debt levels will be a key factor in whether interest from two Indian tycoons leads to major investment, experts said today.[LNB]It was revealed yesterday that two businessmen from the sub-continent, Mukesh Ambani and Subrata Roy, were competing for bids to buy a significant stake in the club.[LNB]But representatives of Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries and the wealthiest man in India and seventh-richest in the world, denied claims he was interested in doing business with Liverpool's co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.[LNB]And it is understood there has been no bid submitted from Subrata Roy, chairman of the Sahara Group in India, although his spokesman would neither confirm nor deny a report suggesting Roy's interest was 'serious'.[LNB]The club has refused to comment on the potential buyout, but Reds boss Rafa Benitez said he would welcome any new investors.[LNB]Analysts yesterday cast doubt on whether Liverpool FC was an attractive investment opportunity given its current £237m debt levels.[LNB]James Dow, a specialist accountant whose Daresbury-based firm, Dow Schofield Watts, has worked with football clubs in the past, said LFC did not have much merit as 'a genuine investment opportunity.'[LNB]He said: 'There are real practical impediments to getting a deal done. The club has got a significant amount of debt in it at the moment.[LNB]'Hicks and Gillett have personally guaranteed some of that indebtedness, which would be a major stumbling block to getting the deal done.[LNB]'An added complication is that you have got to deal with two people, not one. They will have different priorities on what they want to get out of any deal.'[LNB]He added: 'Liverpool FC is an excellent franchise and brand, but the current financial structure it's got is something which a potential buyer can't escape from.[LNB]'When you also factor in funds for strengthening the squad and building a new stadium, it becomes a very large bill.'

Source: Liverpool_Echo