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Mukesh Ambani bidding for Liverpool football club?

By Prasun Sonwalkar
February 09, 2010 09:34 IST
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Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries and Subroto Roy, chairman of Sahara Group are reportedly bidding for a 51 per cent stake in Liverpool football club – one of the most successful clubs in the history of English football.

Liverpool is presently owned by American duo George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who acquired the club in February 2007.

However, reported disagreements between Gillett and Hicks, and the lack of the fans' support, have led to rumours that that international buyers such as the Dubai International Capital would bid for the club.

The Liverpool club emerged as a takeover target for Ambani, the seventh-richest man in the world, as pressure mounted on Hicks and Gillett to cut a deal to sell the club, The Times reported on Tuesday.

Both Ambani and Roy have reportedly each tendered similar bids to pay off Liverpool's 237 million pounds debt in return for a 51 per cent stake in the club.

Liverpool chief executive, Christian Purslow, however denied any knowledge of bids by Ambani and Roy, but The Times reported that approaches began as early as November and that some preliminary talks had taken place.

Each deal requires that the present owners make a commitment to take no dividends or expenses out of the club for three years to allow the club to resume a secure financial basis.

The Americans were reportedly unpopular with club's supporters and the hostility had increased as it had become clear that there were no money available to strengthen the team.

In April 2008, business magazine Forbes ranked Liverpool as the fourth most valuable football team in the world, after Manchester United, Real Madrid and Arsenal.

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Prasun Sonwalkar in London
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