Hicks & Gillette
It looks like Liverpool may finally be getting fresh investment.
The club has lined up a spectacular deal with the Rhone Group – reported to be worth £3billion – to dilute the controversial ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
The New York-based private equity firm have begun due diligence with a view to buying around a 40 per cent stake in the club.
The £100m deal would see controlling interest pass to billionaire financiers Robert Agostinelli and Steven Langman.
If the deal goes through it would repay the club’s Royal Bank of Scotland debt and enable work to begin on the £350m new stadium.
There would also be considerable investment in the transfer market – although it is unlikely Benitez will be the man to spend it.
He has reached the stage where he believes it is time to quit Anfield, with Real Madrid a possible destination in the summer.
That would then allow potential new owners to install their own man at the Liverpool helm.
Managing director Christian Purslow has been scouring the globe to meet a summer deadline to repay £100m of a £237m debt to RBS.
There is still interest from India, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait but the Rhone Group are seen as the most viable proposition in the market.
Founded by Agostinelli and Langman in 1996, the Rhone Group describes itself as ‘one of the world’s leading mid-market private equity firms’.
They specialise in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, recapitalization and partnerships with particular focus on European and Trans- Atlantic investments.
Rhône is headquartered in New York, and has offices in both London and Paris.
Rhône Group was established in 1997 and has been under its present ownership since. It is a private company which has been owned and managed by Robert F. Agostinelli and M. Steven Langman since inception.
The new Americans would take a controlling interest, leaving Hicks and Gillett with around a 30 per cent stake each.
Sounds like the perfect partners for Liverpool FC, lets hope it comes to pass.