Seventh richest man on the planet denies plans to take over Liverpool

09 February 2010 01:46
Money man: Ambani

The world's seventh-richest man has denied he is planning a takeover at Liverpool as the pressure increases on Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr to sell the club.

According to The Times, Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India and owner of Reliance Industries, is one of two businessmen competing for a stake in the Reds.

Subrata Roy, chairman of the Sahara Group, was also reported to have tendered a bid to pay off Liverpool's £237million debt in return for a 51 per cent stake in the club.

Anfield chief executive Christian Purslow denied any knowledge of the bids and Reliance spokeswoman Sudeep Purkayastha said: 'There is no truth to the report. We deny it completely.'

Meanwhile, Sahara spokesman Abhijit Sarkar said: 'We are presently not in a position to comment.'

Roy's company was linked with shirt sponsorship of Manchester United a year ago. Sahara's sponsorship of the India cricket team expires this year and the 62-year-old could be looking for a new project.

Ambani is 10 years younger than Roy and believed to be worth around £12.5billion from his investment in Reliance, a petrochemicals giant.

He is already involved in sport after paying £70m for Indian Premier League franchise the Mumbai Indians in 2008.

A source close to Americans Hicks and Gillett said that the duo would reject any bid that left them with less than 50 per cent of Livberpool's shares unless it involved either of them selling out entirely.

A sale of more than half of the total stake would mean they would lose control of the club.

t is understood that Liverpool's banker, the state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, is pressing Hicks and Gillett to cut their asking price.

On the up: Dirk Kuyt (centre) heads home Liverpool's winner against Everton at the weekend to make it seven unbeaten in the Premier League

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Source: Daily_Mail