Liverpool refinancing to go ahead

The owners of Liverpool Football Club, US investors Tom Hicks and George Gillett, are close to strengthening their hold on the UK Premiership club despite reported bid interest from Middle Eastern firm Dubai International Capital.

The refinancing of Liverpool Football Club by its owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett is likely to go ahead this week, according to someone close to the deal.

Liverpool:
refinancing goes
ahead

The package is around £300 million ($584.4 million; €403.6 million) and it is being used in part to pay off a bridging loan provided by UK bank RBS during the £219 million buyout of the club in March last year by the businessman, UK newspaper Daily Telegraph said. The money will also be used to build a new stadium, the Telegraph said.

Since being acquired by the new owners, the club has bought football stars such as Fernando Torres, bought from Atletico de Madrid for £26 million.

Dubai International Capital, the investment firm owned by the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also reportedly interested in buying the club, having been outbid by Gillett and Hicks in March. DIC declined to comment.

DIC’s recent acquisitions include the buyout of Almatis for an undisclosed sum in November and a 9.9 percent stake in hedge fund Och-Ziff for $1.2 billion (€829 million).

This placed the firm at the forefront of a wave of investment by MENA firms. Middle Eastern financial sponsors accounted for 17 percent of global deal volume in 2007 in October and November compared to a 2.8 percent proportion of global volume in the year up to the end of November.